It is the day that celebrates reading and that is meant to motivate adults and children alike to read. Even though the author we would like to present today, on the World Book Day, is not too popular among school students, others appreciate him all the more: Friedrich Schiller. If you take the time to immerse yourself in his work, Schiller will open up a peculiar and fascinating literary world. 

Click at the pictures to see the church record.

The man from Wurttemberg was born on 10 November, 1749 in Marbach (Neckar). The screenshot from Archion shows his entry into the baptismal register of the parish. What strikes the eye is the large number of notable godfathers and godmothers bearing witness to the fact that the Schiller family held a respectable position in society. At the time of Friedrich’s birth, his father was a lieutenant in the service of Wurttemberg and, like the rest of the family, very religious. Thus, Friedrich studied the Bible and attended a Latin school at an early stage. In view of his father’s position it is not surprising that, in 1773 and at the express wish of Duke Karl, Schiller was sent to the “Karlsschule”, a military academy established in 1770. There, he devoted himself to medical studies. Entering the academy at the age of 14, Friedrich suffered badly under the military drill and took refuge in literature. He soon became a writer himself; during his studies, he already began one of his best-known works: “Die Räuber” (The Robbers). Finally, he fled Wurttemberg to escape from the military obligations. With the musician Andreas Streicher a friend of Schiller’s accompanied him. 

Schiller’s further path of life was coined by deprivations, debts and setbacks. As an illegal refugee, he could not find a position as a writer at princely courts. His path led him to Mannheim, Frankfurt and Oggersheim until he found accommodation in Bauerbach for a while. Upon his return to Mannheim, he fell ill with Malaria. Due to his admirer, Oberkonsistorialrat Körner from Leipzig, his situation improved, and between 1785 and 1787 he resided in Leipzig and Dresden. In 1787, he set forth to Weimar and got to know Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Through Goethe’s mediation he obtained a professorship for history in Jena and published historical treatises. The two of them were connected by a deep friendship. In 1790, he married Charlotte von Lengefeld, and they had four children. In 1799, the family moved to Weimar as Schiller desired to be closer to Goethe. At that time, he was well established and financially secured. In 1802, he was raised to nobility and considered as the “nation’s favourite poet”. Due to his fragile health, however, he could not enjoy his fame for long; on 9 May, 1805, he died in Weimar at just 45 years of age.