Threat of war
Despite the threat of war, the St Matthew Passion went ahead as usual in the spring of 1940. From May 1940, the Netherlands was occupied by the Germans. No gatherings could be organised without permission from the authorities.
The St Matthew Passion performances by the Netherlands Bach Society were approved, so they could continue to take place during the occupied years. The concert on Good Friday, as in previous years, was completely sold out.
Photo of the St Matthew Passion performance on 22 March 1940, conducted by Anthon van der Horst.