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

Film vs. Reality: the true tale regarding 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 film The noise of Music as a child that is young probably into the belated 1960s. We liked the performing, and Maria was therefore pretty and type! when i expanded older, more mindful of globe history, and saturated by viewing the film at least once annually, I happened to be struck and frustrated by the somewhat sanitized story for the von Trapp household it told, along with the bad 1960s hairdos and costumes. “It is maybe maybe perhaps not historically accurate!” I’d protest, an archivist that is small the creating. Within the very early 1970s We saw Maria von Trapp by herself on Dinah Shore’s tv series, and child, had been she in contrast to the Julie Andrews form of sign in Maria! She did not appear to be Julie, and she came across as a real force of nature. In taking into consideration the fictionalized film version of Maria von Trapp when compared with this really real Maria von Trapp, We arrived to understand that the tale for the von Trapp family ended up being most likely one thing closer to human, and so so much more interesting, as compared to film led us to think.

An element of the tale regarding the real von Trapp family members are located in the documents associated with the National Archives. Once they fled the Nazi regime in Austria, the von Trapps traveled to America. Their entry in to the usa and their subsequent applications for citizenship are documented into the holdings regarding the 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 family members in 1926 as a tutor for starters associated with the young kids, Maria, who was simply dealing with scarlet fever, not quite as governess to all or any 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 would not marry Georg von Trapp because she was at love with him. As she stated inside her autobiography Maria, she fell deeply in love with the kids in the beginning sight, perhaps not their dad. As he asked her to marry him, she wasn’t certain that she should abandon her spiritual calling but had been encouraged because of the nuns to accomplish God’s might and marry Georg. “we really and certainly had not been in love. I liked him but did not love him. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the young young ones, therefore you might say 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, perhaps perhaps perhaps not 7 von Trapp young ones.
  • The names, many years, and sexes associated with the young young ones had been changed.
  • The household had been musically inclined before Maria arrived, but they were taught by her to sing madrigals.
  • Georg, definately not being the detached, cold-blooded patriarch for the family members 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 who enjoyed musical tasks with his household. While this improvement in their character could have created for a much better tale in emphasizing Maria’s healing influence on the von Trapps, it distressed their family members significantly.
  • The household 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 meeting printed in Opera Information, “We did inform people who we had been planning to America to sing. And then we failed to climb up over hills along with our suitcases that are heavy instruments. We left by train, pretending nothing.”
  • The von Trapps traveled to Italy, maybe perhaps not Switzerland. Georg came to be in Zadar (now in Croatia), which at that right time ended up being an element of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zadar became section of Italy in 1920, and Georg ended up being therefore A italian resident, along with his spouse and young ones also. Your family had a agreement with a us scheduling representative once they left Austria. The agent was contacted by them 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 as his or her musical manager for over two decades.
  • Though she had been a caring and loving individual, Maria was not constantly since sweet as the fictional Maria. She had a tendency to erupt in upset outbursts composed of yelling, tossing things, and slamming doorways. Her emotions would straight away be relieved and humor that is good, while other family unit members, especially her spouse, found it less an easy task to recover. Inside her 2003 meeting, younger Maria confirmed that her stepmother “had a dreadful mood. . . . And from a single minute to a higher, you did not understand what hit her. We had been perhaps not accustomed this. But we took it such as a thunderstorm that will pass, as the next moment she could possibly be good.”

The true von Trapps

Georg von Trapp, created in 1880, became a national hero as a captain into 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 accomplishments. Georg married Agathe Whitehead, the granddaughter of Robert Whitehead, the creator associated with torpedo, in 1912. That they had seven young ones 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. The household ended up being devastated by her death and struggling to keep located in spot where that they had been therefore happy, Georg offered their property in Pola (now Pula, Croatia) and purchased a property 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 as an atheist and socialist by an abusive relative. While going to the State Teachers’ university of Progressive Education in Vienna, she unintentionally went to a Palm Sunday solution, believing that it is a concert of Bach music, the place where a priest had been speaking. 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 therefore there had beenn’t a term of truth inside them. However the method this guy chatted simply swept me personally off my foot. I happened to be entirely overwhelmed.” Immediately after, Maria graduated from university, and thus of her spiritual awakening, she joined the Benedictine Abbey of Nonnberg in Salzburg as a newcomer. While she struggled because of the unaccustomed guidelines and control, she considered that “These . . . 2 yrs had been actually required to get my character that is twisted and overgrown self-will cut down seriously to size.”

Nevertheless, her health experienced not receiving the workout and oxygen to which she had been accustomed. Whenever Georg von Trapp approached the Reverend mom associated with the Abbey looking for an instructor for their unwell child, Maria had been selected, partly due to her training and ability as an instructor, but in addition due to concern on her behalf wellness. She had been likely to stay utilizing the von Trapps for 10 months, during the end of which she’d formally go into the convent.

Maria tutored young Maria and developed a caring and relationship that is loving all of the young ones. She enjoyed performing using them and having them taking part in outside tasks. During this period, Georg fell so in love with Maria and asked her to remain with him and be a second mom to their kiddies. Of their proposition, Maria stated, “Jesus should have made him term it by doing this because if he had only expected me personally to marry him i would not need said yes.” Maria Kutschera and Georg von Trapp married in 1927. They’d three kiddies together: Rosmarie, 1929– ; Eleonore, 1931– ; and Johannes, 1939–.