If something’s not done soon, the bulldozers will have to move in! This was the warning issued by the Friends of the National Theatre to the public during their campaign launch in 1951. The aim was to canvass for the reconstruction of the National Theatre – on its former site and in the original style by Carl von Fischer from 1818 with the extension by Leo von Klenze.
Public pressure needed to be drummed up. And so famous conductors such as Hans Knapperstbusch and Eugen Jochum, along with many other public figures, signed the petition to garner support. This was an important gesture, as not many politicians would be willing to stick their necks out for rebuilding a cultural venue in the face of the blanket decimation that Munich had suffered during the war. Not only that, but there were also staunch proponents of updating the style.