Life in Berlin
Hindemith enjoyed the wide variety of possibilities offered by cultural life in a pulsing metropolis, but also repeatedly sought relaxation through extended walks and excursions into natural settings.
He became a movie fan and loved films Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. He attended cabaret and review events as well as the spectacular modern productions at the Kroll Opera, where the music was directed by Otto Klemperer. He enjoyed friendships with numerous artists including Darius Milhaud, Igor Stravinsky and Franz Schreker. Artur Schnabel and Walter Gieseking were amongst the friends with whom Hindemith played with his model railway for entire afternoons. He became acquainted with authors such as Alfred Döblin, Marcellus Schiffer, Bert Brecht, Gottfried Benn, Ernst Penzoldt and Carl Zuckmayer, with whom he also sought artistic collaboration.
Hindemith was open to the athletic spirit that permeated the atmosphere of the late 1920s. Each morning, he began his daily routine with gymnastics and a walk through the woods. He took boxing and swimming lessons and attended football matches with his wife. Hindemith also got his driving license in Berlin, and he studied Latin and mathematics.
After a long search for a flat, Paul and Gertrud Hindemith finally took up residence on Sachsenplatz (today Brixplatz) in October 1928. The housing complex on the west side of Berlin, just completed in 1927, attracted prominent residents: Joachim Ringelnatz, Lilian Harvey, Anny Ondra and Max Schmeling also lived there. In order to occasionally flee big-city life, the Hindemiths held onto their Frankfurt residence in the Cowherds' Tower until they left Germany in 1938.