Family and Friends
After many years of uncertainty regarding the fate of their family and friends, the Hindemiths received the first news from Germany starting in the summer of 1945. Only now did they find out that Gertrud's mother Theodore Rottenberg had died in February 1945, that Sophie and Toni Hindemith were able to escape from Frankfurt, demolished by bombs, to Butzbach in Upper Hesse, and that the publisher Strecker's family had suffered no significant losses.
Concerning the time when the Cowherds' Tower also burst into flames on 3 October 1943 during the numerous attacks on Frankfurt, Toni Hindemith reported on February 1946: «Around 9:30 there were all kinds of frightful wheezing and whistling sounds above our tower, bursting and crashing, a hellish noise. The tower trembled in all its joints and seams; doors, windows, roofs, windowsills, etc. flew unhinged. A landmine had been set in the building. We just awaited our end. A giant cloud of dust engulfed us and since all the doors and windows flew out, the dust was rapidly able to collect air, so that we could breathe again. [...] When the drama had come to an end and we went out onto the street, we saw that our tower was burning on top along with the neighbourhood. Sauer's son tried with me to extinguish it [...]. Meanwhile the kitchen also began to burn. From above we then salvaged what we could. It was impossible from the very top, since the entire tower was devoured by the flames. When the fire brigade came in the night, the entire tower was then swimming in extinguishing water.»
A number of Hindemith's manuscripts were lost in the ruins of the Cowherds' Tower.
After the end of the war, the supply situation for the general populace became more critical. Emma Lübbecke-Job wrote in early 1945: «There is no coal or heating for us; soon we shall be sitting at the piano and desk with icy beards, for there is electric power only by the hour on alternate days; this is a serious calamity and the simplest cooking is a difficult question. Now it is still light until 5 in the afternoon. There are no lamps or candles, one has to crawl into bed at 5 and begin one's work at 12 when the power is turned on again!» Paul and Gertrud Hindemith tried to alleviate the greatest need of their relatives by sending packages of food.