Even after Goebbels's definite statement in his speech before the Reichskulturkammer, National Socialist cultural policy did not take a unified course in dealing with Hindemith. It remained unclear for a long time whether his works were officially banned or not. Rumours making the rounds, however, ensured that hardly a concert organiser dared to programme a work by Hindemith any more. Hindemith's own concertising activities were drastically reduced: he received no more invitations within Germany, and he had to obtain the permission of the Reichsmusikkammer for concerts abroad.
Hindemith's publisher attempted to secure his rehabilitation, in vain, and the attempt to have the premiere of the opera Mathis der Maler on a German stage also failed. Hindemith regarded these efforts with increasing scepticism and resignation. When a general ban on performances of his works followed in October 1936, after the demonstrative success of a performance of the Sonata in E for violin and piano, he wrote: «Either something to the contrary should happen within the foreseeable future, which I hardly assume, indeed (to be honest) don't even wish for, or the already present tension increases, more and more [...]. In no case do I want to make the impression that I wish to reach my goal by crawling into another hole - even if it's an air-hole. Especially now, some pride should definitely worth more than hurrying».
The Hindemiths felt increasingly ill at ease in Berlin and made use of every opportunity to flee the tense atmosphere in the capital. They went on extended hikes during the summer holidays with their friend Willy Strecker through the Eifel, the Black Forest and Silesia. Hindemith withdrew into lonely mountain huts in the Black Forest or at least to Frankfurt in order to compose and write.
Finally, in 1937, he made an initial decision concerning his professional future in Germany. «Paul has somehow finished with the whole matter,» his wife reported to Willy Strecker, «You know, after all, that P. never acts hastily in blind passion, but that all decisions mature within him slowly but surely.»
Hindemith sent his resignation to the Berlin Music Academy. By the time Hindemith's music was put in the dock at the Düsseldorf exhibition «Entartete Musik» (Degenerate Music) in May 1938, he had long decided to emigrate. The Hindemiths left Berlin in August 1938.