Friedrich Schiller, one of Germany’s favourite poets and playwrights, has received reminders to pay his television licence – despite having been dead since 1805.
Two notices were delivered by GEZ, a licence-collecting agency, which threatened to mount legal action against the literary hero, who is best known for his poem Ode to Joy, which was put to music by Beethoven, unless he quickly settled his monthly €17 (£14) bill.
They were sent to a primary school bearing Schiller’s name in Weigsdorf-Köblitz, a town in the eastern state of Saxony.
Gee. You’d think that a middle name like “Publikenschüler” would have tipped off the bureaucrats.
In other news, they’re also still hounding Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for that overdue copy of Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus he borrowed from the library in 1805.