The Real Von Trapp Family Was Nothing Like “The Sound of Music”

By | November 21, 2018

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The actors playing members of the Von Trapp family in a promotional portrait for 'The Sound Of Music', (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

When the film version of the musical drama The Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein was released in 1965, it introduced the world to the story of the Von Trapp family, a musically-gifted Austrian family who had to flee their home when the Nazis invaded Austria in World War II. Although the film, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, received ten Academy Award nominations and won several of them, including Best Picture, the film is not true to the real Von Trapp story. In fact, the film took several creative liberties with the story. Let’s look at the real Von Trapp family. 

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Maria Von Trapp

Maria Grew up an Atheist

Maria, who was born Maria Augusta Kutschera in 1905, was an orphan who was raised by an atheist, socialist, abusive uncle. She was told the Bible was a work of fiction, biblical teachings were false and was not permitted to attend church. As a student at the State Teachers’ College in Vienna, she accidentally attended a Palm Sunday church service…she thought she was seeing a concert. When Maria heard the priest speak, she was mesmerized and became interested in religion. Upon graduation, she entered the Benedictine Abbey of Nonnberg in Salzburg as a novice with the goal of becoming a nun. Just as in the film, Maria struggled with the strict rules and discipline while living at the Abbey.