Martina von Trapp
|Martina von Trapp|
Petition for Naturalization, 1948
February 17, 1921|
|Died||February 25, 1951
Stowe, Vermont, U.S.
|Parents||Georg and Agatha (née Whitehead) von Trapp|
Martina von Trapp (17 February 1921 – 25 February 1951) was a member of the Trapp Family Singers and was the seventh child of Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agatha Whitehead von Trapp. She was a member of the Trapp Family Singers, whose lives were the inspiration for the play and movie The Sound of Music. She was portrayed as the character "Gretl".
Named after the house she was born in, the Martinsschlössel, Martina von Trapp had brown hair and brown eyes. She grew up in Klosterneuburg, and later in Salzburg with her siblings Rupert (1911–1992), Agathe (1913–2010), Maria Franziska (1914-2014), Werner (1915–2007), Hedwig (1917–1972), and Johanna (1919–1994). The family moved from Zell-am-See to Klosterneuburg after their home in Zell-am-See, a hotel called Kitzsteinhorn, was flooded. They also lived at one time on a farm called Erlhof near their maternal grandmother and aunts. When Martina was one and a half years old, her mother Agathe died of scarlet fever during an epidemic. Three years later, Georg von Trapp moved his family to the Aigen district of Salzburg.
In 1926, her older sister Maria Franziska became ill and was unable to attend school. During her recovery her father arranged for a teacher from a local convent to tutor her; the novice, Maria Augusta Kutschera, married Georg von Trapp the next year. Georg and Maria Augusta had three children together: Rosmarie (born 1928 or 1929), Eleonore (born 1931), and Johannes (1939). In the 1930s Georg suffered serious financial losses. Maria Augusta, who had taught the children to sing, organized a series of concerts in order to pay the bills. She became a naturalized United States citizen in 1948.
The family left Austria in the summer of 1938 after they declined an invitation to sing for Hitler at his birthday celebration at Berchtesgaden, Germany. They embarked on a concert tour of the US and never went back. von Trapp was nearly seventeen years old at the time. She sang second soprano in the family chorus together with her sister Maria Franziska.
Aged 28, Martina wed French-Canadian Jean Dupire in 1949. She remained home for the 1950–1951 tour as she was expecting her first child. While the family was touring the western United States in the winter of 1951, she gave birth to a stillborn daughter (Notburga), and died the same day from complications of the Caesarean section she had undergone. She had just recently turned 30 years old.
She was buried at the von Trapp's lodge in Vermont, next to her father and with her baby in her arms. Her stepmother and three of her siblings — Rupert, Werner, and Hedwig — were later buried next to her.
- The von Trapp Family website
- Comparison of the real von Trapp family with that in the movie
- Von Trapp family archive cache from the US Government Archives