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

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

By Joan Gearin

Maria von Trapp, picture from her Declaration of Intention, dated January 21, 1944. (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 that is young probably within the belated 1960s. We liked the singing, and Maria had been therefore pretty and sort! As I expanded older, more aware of globe history, and saturated by viewing the film one or more times annually, I became struck and aggravated by the somewhat sanitized tale regarding the von Trapp family members it told, plus the bad 1960s hairdos and costumes. „It is perhaps maybe not historically accurate!“ I would protest, an archivist that is small the generating. When you look at the very early 1970s We saw Maria von Trapp by by herself on Dinah Shore’s tv series, and child, had been she in contrast to the Julie Andrews type of Maria! She did not seem like Julie, and she found as a real force of nature. In taking into consideration the fictionalized movie version of Maria von Trapp when compared with this very genuine Maria von Trapp, I came to appreciate that the storyline for the von Trapp family members ended up being most likely one thing closer to human being, and for that reason significantly more interesting, compared to the film led me to believe.

The main tale for the genuine von Trapp family members are available in the documents of this National Archives. If 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 when you look at the holdings of this nationwide 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 household in 1926 as being a tutor for example associated with the young kids, Maria, who was simply 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 household left Austria, maybe maybe not prior to the Nazi takeover of Austria.
  • Maria failed to marry Georg von Trapp because she was at love with him. As she said in her own autobiography Maria, she fell deeply in love with the kids in the beginning sight, perhaps not their daddy. Her to marry him, she was not sure if she should abandon her religious calling but was advised by the nuns to do God’s will and marry Georg when he asked. „I actually and certainly had not been in love. We liked him but did not love him. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the kiddies, therefore you might say we really married the youngsters. . . . By and by we discovered to love him a lot more than We have ever liked before or after.“
  • There have been 10, perhaps maybe maybe not 7 von Trapp kids.
  • The names, many years, and sexes associated with young kids had been changed.
  • Your family 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 family members whom disapproved of music, as portrayed in the 1st 50 % of The Sound of Music, ended up being really a mild, warmhearted parent whom enjoyed musical tasks together with household. Although this improvement in their character could have designed for a better tale in emphasizing Maria’s healing impact on the von Trapps, it distressed their household significantly.
  • Your family failed to secretly escape on the Alps to freedom in Switzerland, carrying their suitcases and instruments that are musical. As child Maria said in a 2003 interview printed in Opera Information, „We did inform people who we had been planning to America to sing. And we also would not rise over hills along with our suitcases that are heavy instruments. We left by train, pretending absolutely absolutely absolutely nothing.“
  • The von Trapps traveled to Italy, maybe maybe not Switzerland. Georg was created in Zadar (now in Croatia), which at that right time ended up being an element of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zadar became element of Italy in 1920, and Georg ended up being therefore a citizen that is italian along with his spouse and kids aswell. The household possessed a agreement with a us booking representative once they left Austria. The agent was contacted by them 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 as their musical manager for more than twenty years.
  • Though she was a caring and loving individual, Maria was not constantly since sweet as the fictional Maria. She had a tendency to erupt in mad outbursts composed of yelling, tossing things, and slamming doorways. Her emotions would straight away be relieved and humor that is good, while other nearest and dearest, especially her spouse, found it less very easy to recover. In her own 2003 meeting, younger Maria confirmed that her stepmother „had a dreadful mood. . . . And in one minute to another, you did not know what hit her. We had been maybe not familiar with this. But we took it such as for instance 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 being a captain within 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 associated with torpedo, in 1912. They’d seven kiddies 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 every one of its seaports, and Georg retired through the navy. Their spouse passed away in 1922 of scarlet temperature. The household ended up being devastated by her death and not able to keep located in an accepted spot where that 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 for the united states of america, RG 21)

Maria Augusta Kutschera was created in Vienna, Austria, in 1905. She ended up being orphaned as a kid and grew up being an atheist and socialist by the relative that is abusive. While going to the State Teachers‘ university of Progressive Education in Vienna, she inadvertently went to a Palm service, believing it to be a concert of Bach music, where a priest was speaking sunday. Years later on she recalled inside her autobiography Maria, „Now I experienced heard from my uncle that most of these Bible stories had been inventions and legends that are old and that there was clearlyn’t a term of truth inside them. However the means this guy chatted just swept me personally off my foot. I was completely overrun.“ Right after, Maria graduated from university, and thus of her awakening that is religious entered the Benedictine Abbey of Nonnberg in Salzburg as a newcomer. While she struggled with all the unaccustomed guidelines and control, she considered that „These . . . couple of years were actually required to get my character that is twisted and overgrown self-will cut right down to size.“

But, her wellness experienced not receiving the workout and air that is fresh which she had been accustomed. Whenever Georg von Trapp approached the Reverend mom associated with Abbey seeking an instructor for their daughter that is sick had been opted for, partly due to her training and ability as an instructor, but in addition as a result of concern on her health. She had been likely to remain with all the von Trapps for 10 months, in the end of which she’d formally go into the convent.

Maria tutored young Maria and developed a caring and loving relationship with all of the young ones. She enjoyed performing using them and having them involved in outside tasks. During this time period, Georg fell deeply in love with Maria and asked her to keep with him and start to become a mother that is second their kiddies. Of their proposition, Maria stated, „Jesus should have made him term it by doing this because if he had just expected us to marry him i may not need said yes.“ Maria Kutschera and Georg von Trapp married in 1927. That they had three young ones together: Rosmarie, 1929– ; Eleonore, 1931– ; and Johannes, 1939–.

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