Marie Sophie Warnecke
Paul Hindemith's mother, Marie Sophie Warnecke, was born on 29 January 1868 as the daughter of a master sheep farmer in Stammen bei Hofgeismar in North Hesse. Besides the children Paul, Toni and Rudolf, she gave birth to twins in 1906 who died shortly after birth. She was forced to work in other people households in order to ensure the livelihood of the family of five.
Marie Sophie Hindemith had close relationships with her children throughout her life. She was considered the stabilising element in the family, described as cheerful, confident and stable in character, but offered no resistance to the father's draconian style of bringing up children. She had a close relationship with Paul that was, however «utterly unsentimental.» Paul was to remember «not without a touch of tenderness» that she merely greeted him with «Well, there you are!» upon his return from the First World War (H.H. Stuckenschmidt). As an expression of his bond, Paul Hindemith dedicated his «Unterweisung im Tonsatz. Theoretischer Teil» to her in 1937.
The family also remained together after the father's death. Paul and Toni lived with their mother on Leerbachstrasse in Frankfurt and also together moved into the Cowherds' Tower on the south side of the Main in October 1923. Following the destruction of the Cowherds' Tower, Marie Sophie Hindemith 1944 moved with her daughter Toni to the Upper Hessian town of Butzbach, where she died on 23 November 1949.
[A transcription of the letter is in the mediatheque.]