What have I be reading?
I have watched the "Sound of Music" many times and I thought I knew the story - after reading Maria's life story, I realise I didn't really now much at all.
Here are some facts:
- Maria went to the Von Trapp household to care for only one child (Maria) who had been sick with scarlet fever.
- Maria did encourage the children to sing, but no "Do Ra Me" or "Climb Every Mountain", rather hymns and other classical music.
- The Von Trapps had 10 children, three were Maria's children
- They climbed no mountains when leaving Austria - they caught a train to Italy. The Baron wasn't being chased by the Nazis.
- Before they leave Austria, the Baron lost all his money due to financial collapse, they were poor before they sailed to the USA.
- From the time the Baron and Maria marries (1927) to the war is around 10 years - in this time Maria has 2 children.
- Instead of the fictional Max Detweiler, pushy music promoter, the von Trapps' priest, the Reverend Franz Wasner, acted as their musical director for over 20 years. He moved the USA with the family.
The clear image of Maria, is of a woman with determination and optimist, but most of all with a very strong faith, a faith that she uses to get the whole family through some very tough battles, most of all the years of poverty in a foreign country they struggled to understand. She did though have a bad temper, described by one of her daughters as being like a thunderstorm.
Sadly Baron Von Trapp dies in 1947, not that many years in the USA. He was aged 67. Maria died in 1987 aged 82.
It is a book worth reading to discover the true story of the Von Trapp family - far better than the movie.
Maria taken in 1944 "Declaration of Intention form"
What happened to the children?
In 1956, Maria, Johannes, Rosmarie, and daughter Maria went to New Guinea to do missionary work.
Rupert was a medical doctor
Agathe was kindergarten teacher in Maryland
Werner was a farmer
Hedwig taught music
Johanna married and eventually returned to live in Austria
Martina married and died in childbirth
Rosmarie and Eleonore both settled in Vermont
Johannes managed the Trapp Family Lodge.