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Mozart’s Death – a Riddle is Solved What did the nearly 36-year-old Wolfgang Amadé Mozart die of shortly before 1 a.m on 5th of December 1791? Why has his grave been lost? – More than two centuries after his death these questions still occupy the minds of many Mozart enthusiasts from all walks of life. For the first time, the following questions about his illness, death and burial have been addressed: Why did Dr. Th. Closset not send Mozart, who was bedridden for 15 days, to the General Hospital of Vienna, where he was employed as an assistant medical director? Why did he feel it necessary to consult the expert on poison and poisoning Dr. M. Sallaba? Why, immediately after Mozart’s death, did the high civil servant Baron Gottfried van Swieten hurry through the cold winter night to the widow (whom he did not even know well) in her flat? Why did this extremely rich man order a wretched third class burial for the musician renowned throughout Europe? Why did Mozart’s numerous in-laws not arrange the burial? Why was Mozart’s death kept secret on the morning of 05.12.1791? Was there a consecration of the corpse, and if so, why did it take place strictly outside St. Stephan’s cathedral? Was there a snow storm which compelled the friends to abandon the coffin on its way to the cemetery of St. Marx and to turn back? Why was it that neither Mozart’s numerous in-laws nor his freemason brethren, his friends or his colleagues visited his grave during the next days, weeks, months or years so that it is still lost today? Why did Constanze go to St. Marx for the first and only time a full 17 years later – on the urging of an acquaintance? Why did brother-in-law J. Lange in his autobiography address the death of his brilliant relative with no more than a half sentence whereas he paid a page-long tribute to a colleague? Why did the urbane man of the world and active eye witness Baron Gottfried van Swieten refuse several times to contribute to an enlarged Mozart biography? Why did Mozart’s biographer G.N. Nissen not interrogate his wife, Constanze; why did he write to her sister Sophie Haibl about Mozart’s death? Who started the rumor that A. Salieri was Mozart’s enemy? Who forged the handwritten information as to Mozart’s authorship in the autograph of the Requiem KV 626? Why is there a tremor in the handwritung of the last notes in the Freimaurerkantate KV 623? Why did the clergy of St. Peter and even of St. Stephan refuse to administer the sacrament of the Last Ointment, although Mozart had been active there as a church musician during his last months? Were they entitled to do this? Why were his exequies not held in his home church St. Stephan? Why did Vienna in no way commemorate the famous deceased, whereas in Prague a ceremony worthy of him was carried out in which almost the entire population took an active part? Why did Mozart’s freemason brethren arrange a collection for the widow and her little children only months after Mozart’s death and not, as usual, right away? Why is nothing known about the result? Why was the mourning in his masonic lodge only held half a year after Mozart’s death and not, as usual, immediately after his death? Why is it that, on this occasion, Mozart’s death was dealt with as a second rate matter and why does Hensler’s funeral speech introduce Mozart’s death as a “disgraceful subject”? Why does this speech mention “disgusting insects” for which, according to circumstances, the body can serve as accommodation and nutrition? Why does it hint at an illness which cannot be named? Furthermore,, why does it deal so much with “virtue”? Why the exclamation: “Let his untimely death be for us the strongest encouragement to virtue!”? Why did the leading civil servant Baron van Swieten (son of the physician Gerard van Swieten, who with his Liquor Swietenii cured nearly 5000 patients of syphilis rampant in Vienna at that time) lose his high post as the president of the “Studien-Hofkommission” on the exact day of Mozart’s death? Why, the day after Mozart’s death, did the subordinate civil servant Franz Hofdemel attack his pregnant wife Magdalena, a pupil of Mozart’s, with a razor and kill himself by cutting his throat? Why did the empress with her royal household visit the middle-class Magdalena? When Magdalena was introduced to Beethoven, why did he refuse to play before her exclaiming: “Hofdemel? Isn’t that the woman Mozart had an affair with?” Why did C.F. Zelter remind his friend J.W. von Goethe in a letter in 1827 that Mozart “had ruined his robust health with women”? Why did old J. Haydn shed tears whenever the name of his long-deceased friend was mentioned? Why did the magistrate of the city of Vienna only made a search for Mozart’s grave after the death of all the witnesses? Why, according to the English historian F. Carr, do the officials of Vienna, up to the present day, treat Mozart’s death and burial “with the utmost embarrassment, tardiness and shamefaced reserve”?