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Film vs. Reality: the true tale regarding the Von Trapp Family

By Joan Gearin

Maria von Trapp, picture from her Declaration of Intention, dated 21, 1944 january. (Records of District Courts associated with united states of america, RG 21)

We first saw the movie The noise of Music as being a child, probably into the late 1960s. We liked the performing, and Maria ended up being therefore pretty and sort! I was struck and annoyed by the somewhat sanitized story of the von Trapp family it told, as well as the bad 1960s hairdos and costumes as I grew older, more aware of world history, and saturated by viewing the movie at least once yearly. “It is perhaps maybe not historically accurate!” I would protest, a little archivist in the creating. Into the 1970s that are early saw Maria von Trapp by by by herself on Dinah Shore’s tv program, and child, ended up being she in contrast to the Julie Andrews form of Maria! She didn’t seem like Julie, and she discovered being a force that is true of. In taking into consideration the fictionalized film version of Maria von Trapp when compared with this genuinely Maria that is real von, I arrived to appreciate that the tale associated with the von Trapp family members ended up being most likely one thing nearer to human being, and as a consequence significantly more interesting, compared to the film led me to think.

Area of the tale associated with von that is real Trapp are available in the documents of this National Archives. Once they fled the Nazi regime in Austria, the von Trapps traveled to America. Their entry to the united states of america and their applications that are subsequent citizenship are documented when you look at the holdings associated with the National Archives and Records management.

Reality from Fiction

Whilst the Sound of Music was generally speaking in line with the very first element of Maria’s guide The tale for the Trapp Family Singers (posted in 1949), there were numerous alterations and omissions.

  • Maria stumbled on the von Trapp household in 1926 as being a tutor for example for the young kiddies, Maria, who had been dealing with scarlet temperature, much less governess to any or all the young ones.
  • Maria and Georg hitched in 1927, 11 years ahead of the grouped family members left Austria, maybe not prior to the Nazi takeover of Austria.
  • Maria would not marry Georg von Trapp because she was at love with him. She fell in love with the children at first sight, not their father as she said in her autobiography Maria. As he asked her to marry him, she had not been certain that she should abandon her spiritual calling but ended up being encouraged by the nuns to complete God’s might and marry Georg. “we really and certainly had not been in love. We liked him but did not love him. But, we enjoyed the young ones, so in ways I actually married the youngsters. . . . By and than We have ever liked before or after. by we discovered to love him more”
  • There have been 10, not 7 von Trapp young ones.
  • The names, many years, and sexes regarding the kids had been changed.
  • The household had been musically inclined before Maria arrived, but she did help them learn to sing madrigals.
  • Georg, not even close to being the detached, cold-blooded patriarch associated with the household whom disapproved of music, as portrayed in the first 1 / 2 of The Sound of Music, had been really a mild, warmhearted moms and dad who enjoyed musical activities together with his household. Although this improvement in their character could have created for a better tale in emphasizing Maria’s healing impact on the von Trapps, it distressed his family members significantly.
  • Your family failed to secretly escape on the Alps to freedom in Switzerland, holding their suitcases and instruments that are musical. As child Maria stated in a 2003 interview printed in Opera Information, “We did inform individuals who we had been likely to America to sing. And then we would not climb up over hills along with our hefty suitcases and instruments. We left by train, pretending absolutely nothing.”
  • The von Trapps traveled to Italy, perhaps not Switzerland. Georg came to be in Zadar (now in Croatia), which at that time ended up being an element of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zadar became section of Italy in 1920, and Georg had been therefore A italian resident, and their spouse and kids aswell. Your family possessed an agreement having a us scheduling representative once they left Austria. They contacted the representative from Italy and asked for fare to America.
  • As opposed to the fictional Max Detweiler, pushy music promoter, the von Trapps’ priest, the Reverend Franz Wasner, acted because their musical manager for over two decades.
  • Though she ended up being a caring and person that is loving Maria wasn’t constantly since sweet as the fictional Maria. She had a tendency to erupt in annoyed outbursts composed of yelling, tossing things, and slamming doorways. Her feelings would instantly be relieved and good humor restored, while other loved ones, specially her spouse, found it less an easy task to recover. Inside her 2003 meeting, younger Maria confirmed that her stepmother “had an awful temper. . . . And from a minute to another location, you don’t understand what hit her. We had been perhaps perhaps not accustomed this. But we took it such as a thunderstorm that could pass, as the minute that is next might be excellent.”

The true von Trapps

Georg von Trapp, created in 1880, became a nationwide hero as a captain into the Austrian navy during World War I. He commanded submarines with valor and received the title of “Ritter” (knight), and later baron, as an incentive for their accomplishments that are heroic. Georg married Agathe Whitehead, the granddaughter of Robert Whitehead, the creator for the torpedo, in 1912. That they had seven kids together: Rupert, 1911–1992; Agathe, 1913–2010; Maria, 1914–2014; Werner, 1915–2007; Hedwig, 1917–1972; Johanna, 1919–1994; and Martina, 1921–1952. After World War I, Austria destroyed each of its seaports, and Georg retired through the navy. Their spouse died in 1922 of scarlet temperature. Your family had been devastated by her death and not able to bear residing in destination where that they had been so delighted, Georg offered their home in Pola (now Pula, Croatia) and purchased an property in Salzburg.

Photographs from von Trapp Declaration of Intention papers

(Records of District Courts associated with the usa, RG 21)

Maria Augusta Kutschera came to be in Vienna, Austria, in 1905. russian bride She ended up being orphaned as a kid and grew up being an atheist and socialist by an abusive relative. While going to the State Teachers’ university of Progressive Education in Vienna, she inadvertently went to a Palm Sunday solution, thinking that it is a concert of Bach music, in which a priest had been talking. Years later on she recalled inside her autobiography Maria, “Now I experienced heard from my uncle that all these Bible stories had been inventions and old legends, and that there clearly wasn’t a term of truth inside them. Nevertheless the real method this guy chatted simply swept me personally off my foot. I happened to be entirely overrun.” Immediately after, Maria graduated from university, and for that reason of her awakening that is religious entered the Benedictine Abbey of Nonnberg in Salzburg as a newcomer. While she struggled using the unaccustomed guidelines and control, she considered that “These . . . 2 yrs had been really required to get my character that is twisted and overgrown self-will cut right down to size.”

Nevertheless, her wellness endured not getting the workout and outdoors to which she had been accustomed. Whenever Georg von Trapp approached the Reverend mom regarding the Abbey looking for an instructor for his daughter that is sick had been opted for, partly due to her training and ability as an instructor, but also due to concern on her behalf wellness. She ended up being expected to stay because of the von Trapps for 10 months, during the end of which she’d formally go into the convent.

Maria tutored young Maria and create a caring and relationship that is loving all of the kiddies. She enjoyed performing them involved in outdoor activities with them and getting. During this period, Georg fell deeply in love with Maria and asked her to keep with him and be a 2nd mom to their kids. Of their proposition, Maria stated, “Jesus will need to have made him word it in that way because me to marry him I might not have said yes.” Maria Kutschera and Georg von Trapp married in 1927 if he had only asked. That they had three kids together: Rosmarie, 1929– ; Eleonore, 1931– ; and Johannes, 1939–.

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