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Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1809) is often said to be an Austrian composer but, though he was born in Austria, he was in fact 100% German. Haydn was from a poor background: his mother was a cook and his father was a wheelwright.

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven

A young Ludwig van Beethoven

The chemical element germanium was discovered by the German chemist Clemens Winkler (1838-1904) and named after Germania, Latin for Germany.

The German poet Christian Morgenstern died of tuberculosis in 1914. He had contracted it from his mother, who had died 33 years earlier.

The German composer Beethoven was taught music by the Austrian composers Mozart and Haydn and the Italian composer Salieri. He himself was of Belgian extraction – his grandfather was a Belgian.

The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Germany (1500-58) was said to have spoken French to men, Italian to women, Spanish to God and German to horses.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts