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1 – 31 August

The extended Festival Hall by Clemens Holzmeister had already aroused Goebbel’s displeasure in 1938.

In April 1939, reconstruction began of the Festival Hall after plans by Reich set designer Benno von Arent; this involved timber cladding being replaced by faux Baroque plaster stucco, and the additions of Reich eagle, swastika and bust of the Führer, also a central box for the Führer. At the same time, Anton Faistauer’s frescoes were removed from the foyer. Adlhart’s masked group was veiled at first in 1938, then dismantled.

Nazi VIPs attended the opening of the Festival. Propaganda Minister Joseph ­Goebbels attended the performance of Rosenkavalier/The Knight of the Rose, and a few days later Adolf Hitler visited Salzburg. The Festival ended – surprisingly – one week before the scheduled finale, namely on 31 August already. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was allegedly needed for the Nuremberg Rally. The real reason was revealed on 1 September: the German Wehrmacht marched into Poland, triggering the Second World War.