Research Shows Schiller Not Buried in His Tomb

BERLIN -- Who is buried in Friedrich Schiller's tomb? Several people, apparently, but none of them are the famous poet and playwright, according to new research.

After two years of painstaking DNA research, experts have determined that none of the remains billed as those of Schiller belong to the German writer, who died in Weimar in 1805, Germany's MDR television reported. The study, dubbed the Friedrich Schiller Code, was undertaken by the television station, the Foundation of Weimar Classics and an international team of scientists.

"Two years ago, I was certain that we would prove that it was him; now we have proved the opposite," said foundation president Hellmut Seemann.

The DNA results add another chapter to a mystery that dates back to 1826, just 21 years after Schiller died, when it was decided that he needed a new resting place.

Schiller's remains had been mixed with others in a mausoleum, and when a total of 23 skulls were found, the city's mayor declared that the biggest must have been that of the philosophic writer.

A skeleton believed to match the skull was buried with it in 1827, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was buried in a crypt alongside him in 1832.

According to the DNA results, however, none of the skulls buried there were matches, MDR reported. The researchers used comparison samples taken from the remains of two of Schiller's sisters and two of his sons.