Skip to main Content


Monday, 21.09.2015
10:00 am - 11:00 am

Opening ceremony

Welcome speech: Barbara Glück, Mauthausen Memorial, Jordi Guixé Coromines, European Observatory on Memories (EUROM)

Opening talk: Aba Lewit, Survivor of the Mauthausen concentration camp, Christian Dürr, Mauthausen Memorial

11:00 am - 01:00 pm

Panel 1 - The Victims: Liberation, Displacement, Return, Emigration

In contrast to the national post-war narratives: How did survivors (of the Mauthausen Camp) experience what we call liberation? Which different patterns and strategies did they pursue to either continue with their previous lives, or to start a new life altogether? Which obstacle did they encounter at all? How were they welcomed in their countries of origin or countries of emigration? Which communities formed after their return, or in the countries of emigration? Briefly: How to define a liberation process from the viewpoint of survivors, and how could such a process be “concluded”, for that matter?

Speakers: Susanne Urban, International Tracing Service (ITS) Bad Arolsen, Katja Seybold, Stiftung niedersächsische Gedenkstätten (SNG), Geneviève Dreyfus-Armand

Chair: Oriol López-Badell
, European Observatory on Memories (EUROM)         

01:00 pm - 02:00 pm

Lunch break

02:00 pm - 04:00 pm

Panel 2 - The Perpetrators: Flight, Post-war Justice, Denazification, Reintegration of Perpetrators

If liberation is also understood as a process of dismantling the social, institutional and political structures imposed by National Socialism, the question arises for the former societies of perpetrators, what exactly such process consisted of, how far it went, and what was left untouched. When the war had ended, many perpetrators were on the run and succeeded to disappear. How successful were they in avoiding prosecution? Who was indicted, who was convicted? Who was never even prosecuted? How intensive did the Allied and the Austrian (German) sides pursue the process of denazification? How were the perpetrators reintegrated into post-war society? And who was seen as perpetrator in post-war society, for that matter?

Speakers: Winfried Garscha, Dokumentationsarchiv des Österreichischen Widerstandes (DÖW), William Mikkel Dack, University of Calgary, Gerald Steinacher, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Chair: Gregor Holzinger
, Mauthausen Memorial     

04:00 pm - 04:30 pm


04:30 pm - 06:00 pm

Guided tour at the outdoor area of Mauthausen Memorial

Topic: "Liberation"

Meeting point: square in front of the Visitor Centre

06:00 pm - 09:00 pm

Exhibition Opening - “'Where Should We Have Gone after the Liberation?' Waypoints: Displaced Persons after 1945”

The exhibition draws attention to the fates of survivors of Nazi persecution, the Holocaust and forced labour, who were called "Displaced Persons" (DPs) by the Allies.

Tuesday, 22.09.2015
10:00 am - 11:00 am


Gerhard Botz, Universität Wien

11:00 am - 01:00 pm

Panel 3 - The 8th of May 1945 in the Context of National Memorial Cultures

The 8th of May is the Europe-wide day commemorating liberation from Fascism. In diverse national contexts and memorial cultures, this date is being interpreted in different ways, however. This panel should investigate the significance of the 8th of May from the viewpoints of various remembrance policies and cultures in various national and regional contexts, and their representation in official – often contradictory – historiography, memorial sites and museum displays. How different is the term liberation interpreted in various countries formerly occupied by, and in countries formerly collaborating with Germany?

Speakers: Stefanie Endlich, Ljiljana Radonić, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Jordi Guixé Coromines, European Observatory on Memories (EUROM)

Chair: Christian Dürr, Mauthausen Memorial

01:00 pm - 02:00 pm

Lunch break

02:00 pm - 04:00 pm

Panel 4 - The 8th of May 1945 in Austria (Germany): Liberation or Defeat?

In the successor states of the German Reich, the date of liberation is being interpreted in an ambivalent manner. What was liberation for some was a defeat for others. The panel should address the question, which forms and contents the memory of May the 8th assumes in Austria (and Germany), and how they interrelate - ranging from liberation celebrations to commemoration of the fallen soldiers, from Anti-Fascism to right-wing extremism. The focus is on questions such as: Who commemorates whom? Who is victim, who is perpetrator? Which image of a post-Nazi, post-war society can be deduced therefrom?

Speakers: Heidemarie Uhl, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Willi Mernyi, Mauthausen Komitee Österreich, Andreas Peham, Dokumentationsarchiv des Österreichischen Widerstandes (DÖW)

Chair: Andreas Kranebitter, Mauthausen Memorial

from 04:00 pm

Closing words

Pavel Tychtl, European Commission

Calendar Export event as appointment