Already immediately after the end of the war, Hindemith's music was performed again in Germany with unusually great success. The composer himself was rather sceptical towards this development: «I find that they are exaggerating the whole thing, and the only result will be a strong backlash,» he wrote to Willy Strecker in late December 1945.
Soon the first demands were being made for Hindemith's return to Germany and for his help in rebuilding cultural life there. At first Hindemith reacted cautiously to these requests, but later he was decisively dismissive. He took a stand in July 1946 in a letter to Strecker: «What is going on in the letters is simply foul. I have always felt myself to be a private man in music, and whatever a public wants to do with the music I make should not affect my private life, just as I do not wish to touch the private lives of others with this music. I virtually feel like a cornerstone on which each passerby taps with his artistic opinion. But one could also be in agreement with that, for renown and success ultimately lead to such consequences. But one is not in agreement when even your best friends – especially they – cry out everything that they know about you in public.
It is done under the guise of ‹furtherance of art,› ‹making amends,› the ‹old devotion,'›and it unfortunately becomes clear, even at the most casual glance, that each person just wants to gain the best for himself from the momentary economic situation. To the point of satiety, one is repeatedly told that this or that person is performing this or that piece, always with the blatant intention of emphasising this or interesting the composer or even obliging him. [...] Besides that, everyone knows very well what I have to do! Only the demands of the musical moment in Germany exist!
The fact that horizons are shifting, that people who have been thrown out cannot and do not want to rebuild a new existence for themselves every few years, and that there could be other tasks besides rebuilding a destroyed musical life – as great and fascinating as that may be! – and that ultimately the person on whom demands are being made also has an opinion, necessarily based on a very different physical and spiritual development – this occurs to no one. For all of them, one is merely a chess figure that they try to push around, with the entire force of their egoism, into the best position for them, to gain the best profit for themselves. And all this in the name of artistic idealism!
I am supposed to have the idealism to give up everything gained here with great effort, in order to help the personal racketeering of others to their advantage over there. God, how did they entertain the idea of starting up again over there again, how many thoughts, how much care and love did one bring to the possibility of helping to create order over there again! But it is only too clear to me that one-sided idealism can only be of slight use. One must simply wait until the apparently especially high waves of artistic egoism beating against me abate again, and make way for clearer voices speaking of a more sensible view of music.»