Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich von

DRAMATIST, POET, HISTORIAN (GERMANY)
BORN 10 Nov 1759, Marbach, Württemberg: Nicklastorstrasse - DIED 9 May 1805, Weimar
GRAVE LOCATION Weimar, Thüringen: Friedhof vor dem Frauentor (Fürstengruft)

Friedrich von Schiller was born in the dutchy of Württemberg as the son of an army officer. Against his will he was forced to enter a military academy, but he started to write poetry and a play, "Die Räuber" ("The Robbers"), in which he called for a fight against all tyrants and dictators. After "Die Räuber" was first performed at the National Theatre in Mannheim his literary activities were strictly forbidden by the Duke of Württemberg. He decided to desert from the army and leave the dutchy.

Schiller fled to Mannheim, where he lived under a false name and wrote more plays, among them "Don Carlos" (1787). He was poor and often ill, but every now and then his work was published and there were often people who helped him.

With the help of Goethe he became Professor of History in Jena in 1789. Until 1798 he spent his time on historical studies and he made himself a name as a historian. There was a close friendship and some passion between Schiller and Charlotte von Kalb, but in 1790 he married Charlotte von Langenfeld. In 1794 he and Goethe became close friends and soon Schiller returned to playwriting. In 1799 he moved to Weimar with his family and in Weimar he wrote "Wallenstein" (1799), "Maria Stuart" (1800), "Wilhelm Tell" (1804) and other plays.

Schiller worked hard and often suffered from poor health. In 1805 he died of tuberculosis, only 46 years old. He was buried at the so called Kassengewölbe at the Jacobskirchhof amongst civil servants.

Despite the request of Schiller's widow in 1818, it was only in 1826 that Weimar wanted to privide him with a better gravesite. The Kassengewölbe turned out to be overcrowded and the coffins had crushed each other. Skulls and others remains were taken from the place and one of the skulls was declared to be Schiller's and on 16 Dec 1827 he was reburied at the Fürstengruft of the Friedhof vor dem Frauentor. In 1883 the skull was examined by Hermann Welcker (who had examined Dante's skull in 1865) who said it wasn't Schiller's. In 1911 the Kassengewölbe was opened again and more skulls were exhumed. One of them was now considered to be Schiller's real skull and put in a small box beside his coffin at the Fürstengruft. In 1959 Michail Gerasimov re-exeamined the skull in the coffin and declared this to be the real one. In 2008 a DNA-analysis finally made clear that the skull in the coffin wasn't Schiller's. The contents of the coffin were reburied at the Jacobsfriedhof and the coffin at the Fürstengruft is empty now.

There's a Schiller Museum in Weimar in the house where he lived and his birth house in Marburg is also a museum.

Family
• Wife: Lengefeld, Charlotte von

Related persons
• met Constant, Benjamin
• was a friend of Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
• visited Herz, Henriette
• had as physician Hufeland, Christoph Wilhelm
• was painted by Jagemann, Ferdinand Karl Christian
• was a friend of Kalb, Charlotte von
• was a friend of Schröter, Corona
• knew Tieck, Johann Ludwig
• was a friend of Wolzogen, Caroline, Baronin von

Events
1782/1/13: Premiere of Schiller's "Die Räuber" in Mannheim
1782/9/22: Friedrich Schiller flees from Stuttgart
After his first play "Die Räuber" Duke Karl Eugen of Württenberg had forbidden him to write new plays. Schiller went to Mannheim, where "Die Räuber" had been staged on 13 Jan 1782.
1945/5/12: The Coffins of Goethe and Schiller are returned to the Fürstengruft in Weimar
Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel had them transported to Jena and ordered to blow them up when the allied troops would arrive. This was avoided.
2006/8/21: Exhumation of Schiller's sister Christophine Reinwald
A DNA investigation was conducted at the time to find out if the skull and bones at the Schiller coffin in Weimar were real. They weren't. Christophine's bones were exhumed to check if she was the aunt of Schiller's sons. She was.
2006/10/20: Exhumation of Louise Franckh-Schiller at Möckmühl
A DNA investigation was conducted at the time to find out if the skull and bones at the Schiller coffin in Weimar were real. They weren't.
2007/7/19: Exhumation of Charlotte von Langefeld's body
She was the mother of their son Ernst. A DNA investigation was conducted at the time to find out if the skull and bones at the Schiller coffin in Weimar were real. They weren't.
2008/3/7: Exhumation of Schiller's son Karl von Schiller
A DNA investigation was conducted at the time to find out if the skull and bones at the Schiller coffin in Weimar were really Schiller's. They weren't.

Sources
• Reeth, Adelaïde van & Guido Peeters, Herinneringen in Steen, De Haan/Unieboek, Houten, 1988
Friedrich Schiller
Friedrich von Schiller, ein großer deutscher Dichter

Images

The coffins of Goethe and Schiller in the Fürstengruft at the Friedhof vor dem Frauentor in Weimar.
Picture by Androom (30 Apr 1999)

 

The statue of Goethe and Schiller in Weimar.
Picture by Androom (30 Apr 1999)

 

Schiller bust at the Stadtpark, Graz.
Picture by Androom (12 Sep 2004)

 

The new Kassengewölbe at the Jakobskirchhof in Weimar. Schiller was originally buried in the old Kassengewölbe, located at the same spot.
Picture by Androom (04 Feb 2005)

 

The garden house of Schiller in Jena. He bought it in March 1797 for 1050 Taler and lived there during the summers until he left for Weimar in 1799. Parts of "Wallenstein" and the beginning of "Maria Stuart" were written here.
Picture by Androom (06 Feb 2005)

 

Statue of Schiller at the Albertplatz, Dresden.
Picture by Androom (09 Feb 2005)

 

Bust of Schiller in Jena.
Picture by Androom (06 Feb 2005)

 

Schiller statue at the Schillerplatz in Vienna.
Picture by Androom (22 Aug 2005)

 

The house in Marbach where Schiller was born.
Picture by Androom (01 Feb 2007)

 

The Schiller statue at the Schillerhöhe, Marbach.
Picture by Androom (01 Feb 2007)

 

Schillerhaus in Leipzig-Gohlis. Schiller lived here in the summer of 1785.
Picture by Androom (26 Aug 2007)

 

Statue of Friedrich Schiller in Frankfurt am Main.
Picture by Androom (03 May 2013)

 

The Schiller statue in Leipzig.
Picture by Androom (29 Aug 2013)

 


Schindler, Emil Jakob

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 8 Sep 2013