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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
'German' Mozart upsets Austrians
Mozart was born in Salzburg, now part of Austria
Austrians have voiced their upset over a shortlist for a "best Germans" TV show that includes the Salzburg-born composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Austria's ambassador to Germany, Christian Prosl, has said that because Salzburg is in modern-day Austria, Mozart is Austrian, and has complained over the composer's inclusion in the list.

But the makers of the TV programme, a copy of the BBC series Great Britons, have said that Mozart identified himself as German and is eligible for the series.

Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756 and died in Vienna in 1791. At the time, German-speakers lived in a loose confederation of states.

Shortlisted 'best Germans'
Claudia Schiffer
Ludwig van Beethoven
Boris Becker
Bertolt Brecht
Albert Einstein
Claudia Schiffer (pictured)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Karl Marx

A spokeswoman from the Austrian embassy in London told BBC News Online said that Mozart was neither German or Austrian as he came from Salzburg when it was its own city state, but that Austria now claimed him as "Austrian".

Other disputed candidates in the ZDF-made show include the composer Joseph Haydn, who was born in Vienna, and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

He was born in the Moravian town of Pribor, then part of a German league but now in the Czech Republic, but lived most of his life in Vienna before moving to London.

Another controversial candidate is the renaissance scientist Copernicus, the first man to theorise the earth revolved around the sun, who was born in the town of Torun, now part of present-day Poland.

Nazi ban

ZDF said there was always likely to be some controversy because Germany's borders had changed so often, and producers were having difficulties suggesting some candidates born outside of Germany's present-day borders.

Unlike the Great Britons shortlist, which was chosen by the public, the shortlist of 300 Germans has mostly been picked by the programme-makers in an effort to prevent Adolf Hitler, himself an Austrian by birth, or other Nazi leaders from being chosen.

The public has been able to choose only 50 of the candidates.

Some of the undisputedly-German candidates include the composer Ludwig van Beethoven, scientist Albert Einstein, writer Gunter Grass, tennis player Boris Becker and the supermodel Claudia Schiffer.

The Great Britons programme was won by Britain's wartime leader Winston Churchill.

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