Film vs. Reality: the true tale of this Von Trapp Family

Film vs. Reality: the true tale of this Von Trapp Family

By Joan Gearin

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

We first saw the film The noise of Music as a child that is young probably within the belated 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 maybe perhaps not historically accurate!” We’d protest, an archivist that is small the generating. Into the 1970s that are early saw Maria von Trapp by herself on Dinah Shore’s tv program, and child, had been she nothing like the Julie Andrews form of Maria! She don’t appear to be Julie, and she found as being a real force of nature. In taking into consideration the fictionalized film version of Maria von Trapp when compared with this extremely Maria that is real von, We arrived to understand that the tale of this von Trapp family members ended up being most likely one thing nearer to human being, and for that reason significantly more interesting, compared to movie led us to think.

The main tale for the genuine von Trapp household are located 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 subsequent applications for citizenship are documented within the holdings associated with National Archives and Records management.

Reality from Fiction

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (published in 1949), there were many alterations and omissions while the Sound of Music was generally based on the first section of Maria’s book.

  • Maria stumbled on the von Trapp family members in 1926 as a tutor for just one associated with the young kiddies, Maria, who was simply dealing with scarlet temperature, never as governess to all or any the children.
  • Maria and Georg hitched in 1927, 11 years ahead of the family members left Austria, maybe not prior to the Nazi takeover of Austria.
  • Maria failed to marry Georg von Trapp because she was in love with him. She fell in love with the children at first sight, not their father as she said in her autobiography Maria russian brides. As he asked her to marry him, she was not certain that she should abandon her spiritual calling but had been encouraged because of the nuns to complete God’s might and marry Georg. “we actually and really had not been in love. We liked him but did not love him. But, we liked the young ones, therefore in ways we really married the kids. . . . By and than We have ever liked before or after. by we discovered to love him more”
  • There have been 10, maybe maybe maybe not 7 von Trapp young ones.
  • The names, ages, and sexes for the young young ones had been changed.
  • The household had been musically inclined before Maria arrived, but she did help them learn to sing madrigals.
  • Georg, definately not being the detached, cold-blooded patriarch of this household whom disapproved of music, as portrayed in the 1st 1 / 2 of The Sound of Music, ended up being really a mild, warmhearted moms and dad whom enjoyed musical activities along with his family members. Although this improvement in his character may have created for a better tale in emphasizing Maria’s healing influence on the von Trapps, it distressed their family members significantly.
  • The household failed to secretly escape throughout the Alps to freedom in Switzerland, holding their suitcases and instruments that are musical. As child Maria stated in a 2003 meeting printed in Opera Information, “We did inform people who we had been planning to America to sing. And we also 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, maybe maybe not Switzerland. Georg came to be in Zadar (now in Croatia), which at that time ended up being area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zadar became element of Italy in 1920, and Georg ended up being therefore a citizen that is italian and their spouse and kids too. The household had a contract having a booking that is american once they left Austria. They contacted the representative from Italy and asked for fare to America.
  • Rather than the fictional Max Detweiler, pushy music promoter, the von Trapps’ priest, the Reverend Franz Wasner, acted because their musical manager for over twenty years.
  • Though she had been a caring and loving person, Maria was not constantly since sweet as the fictional Maria. She tended to erupt in upset outbursts composed of yelling, tossing things, and doors that are slamming. Her emotions would straight away be relieved and good humor restored, while other household members, specially her spouse, found it less very easy to recover. Inside her 2003 interview, younger Maria confirmed that her stepmother “had a dreadful mood. . . . And from a single minute to another location, you don’t understand what hit her. We were maybe perhaps maybe not familiar with this. But we took it such as for instance a thunderstorm that will pass, since the minute that is next could possibly be good.”

The true von Trapps

Georg von Trapp, created in 1880, became a nationwide hero as a captain when you look at the Austrian navy during World War I. He commanded submarines with valor and received the name of “Ritter” (knight), and later baron, as an incentive for their heroic achievements. Georg married Agathe Whitehead, the granddaughter of Robert Whitehead, the creator of this 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 wife passed away in 1922 of scarlet temperature. your family had been devastated by her death and struggling to keep residing in spot where they had been therefore pleased, Georg offered their home in Pola (now Pula, Croatia) and purchased an estate in Salzburg.

Photographs from von Trapp Declaration of Intention papers

(Records of District Courts regarding the united states of america, RG 21)

Maria Augusta Kutschera was created in Vienna, Austria, in 1905. She had been orphaned as a kid and grew up being an atheist and socialist by an relative that is abusive. While going to the State Teachers’ university of Progressive Education in Vienna, she unintentionally went to a Palm Sunday service, thinking that it is a concert of Bach music, in which a priest ended up being talking. Years later on she recalled in her own autobiography Maria, “Now I’d heard from my uncle that all these Bible stories had been inventions and legends that are old and therefore there was clearlyn’t a term of truth inside them. Nevertheless the real means this guy chatted simply swept me personally off my legs. I happened to be entirely overrun.” Immediately after, Maria graduated from university, and thus of her awakening that is religious joined the Benedictine Abbey of Nonnberg in Salzburg as a newcomer. She considered that “These . . while she struggled aided by the unaccustomed guidelines and control, . 2 yrs had been actually essential to get my character that is twisted and overgrown self-will cut down seriously to size.”

Nevertheless, her wellness endured not receiving the workout and outdoors to which she ended up being accustomed. Whenever Georg von Trapp approached the Reverend mom of this Abbey looking for an instructor for their ill child, Maria had been opted for, partly as a result of her training and ability as an instructor, but in addition due to concern on her behalf wellness. She ended up being expected to stay aided by the von Trapps for 10 months, during the final end of which she would formally go into the convent.

Maria tutored young Maria and developed a caring and loving relationship with most of the kiddies. She enjoyed performing using them and having them taking part in outside tasks. During this period, Georg fell deeply in love with Maria and asked her to remain with him and be a mother that is second their kiddies. Of their proposition, Maria stated, “Jesus need made him term it this 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. They had three young ones together: Rosmarie, 1929– ; Eleonore, 1931– ; and Johannes, 1939–.


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