Georg von Trapp
|Georg Johannes von Trapp|
4 April 1880|
Zara, Kingdom of Dalmatia, Austria-Hungary (present-day Zadar, Croatia)
|Died||30 May 1947
Stowe, Vermont, U.S.
(m. 1911; her death 1922)
Maria Augusta Kutschera
(m. 1927; his death 1947)
|Children||Rupert von Trapp
Agathe von Trapp
Maria Franziska von Trapp
Werner von Trapp
Hedwig von Trapp
Johanna von Trapp
Martina von Trapp
Rosmarie von Trapp
Eleonore von Trapp
Johannes von Trapp
|Allegiance||Austro-Hungarian Empire (to 1918)|
|Years of service||1898–1918|
|Rank||Corvette Captain (Lieutenant-Commander)|
|Commands held||SM U-6 (July 1910 – July 1913)
Torpedo Boat 52 (1913–1914)
SM U-5 (April–October 1915)
SM U-14 (captured French submarine Curie) (October 1915 – May 1918)
Submarine base commander at Cattaro (May–November 1918)
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa (1915)|
Corvette Captain Georg Johannes Ritter von Trapp (4 April 1880 – 30 May 1947), often incorrectly referred to as Baron (Freiherr) von Trapp, was an Austro-Hungarian Navy officer. His naval exploits during World War I earned him numerous decorations, including the prestigious Military Order of Maria Theresa. Under his command, the submarines SM U-5 and SM U-14 sank 13 Allied ships totaling about 45,669 gross register tons (GRT).
Following Austria-Hungary's defeat and subsequent collapse, Trapp returned to his family but lost his first wife to scarlet fever, in 1922. Five years later, Trapp married his children's tutor Maria Augusta Kutschera. Most of the family's wealth was wiped out during the Great Depression, after Trapp transferred his savings from a bank in London into an Austrian bank. Maria then trained the children to perform at various events as a way of earning a livelihood. The family came under increasing persecution from the Nazis after the Anschluss, when Trapp refused to serve in the German Navy due to his opposition to Nazi ideology. Fearing arrest, Trapp fled with his family to Italy and then to the United States, where he set up a farm and lived the remainder of his life there until his death in 1947.
Maria later wrote of their time together in her book, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. The story of his family served as the inspiration for the Broadway stage musical, The Sound of Music (1959), and the hugely successful 1965 film, in which he was portrayed by Canadian actor Christopher Plummer.
Georg Johannes Ritter von Trapp (4 April 1880 – 30 May 1947) was born in Zara, Dalmatia, then a Crown Land of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (present-day Zadar, Croatia). His father, Fregattenkapitän August Trapp, was a naval officer who had been elevated to the Austrian nobility in 1876, which entitled him and his descendants to the style of "Ritter von Trapp" for sons and "von Trapp" for daughters. (A Ritter (knight) is a hereditary title of nobility roughly equivalent to a British baronetcy, which is a hereditary knighthood but does not confer nobility. In the Austrian order of precedence Ritter ranked above the lowest rank of the nobility, Edler (nobleman), and below a Freiherr (baron), a Graf (count), and Fürst (prince) – Herzog (duke) was reserved for agnates of the imperial family). With the abolition of Austrian nobility in 1919, Georg became simply Georg Trapp; hence the family used the name "Trapp" when in Austria, but, like many former nobles, restored the "von", when out of Austrian jurisdiction. Thus references to his family mix "Trapp" and "von Trapp".
August Ritter von Trapp died in 1884, when Georg was four.
In 1894, aged fourteen, the young Trapp followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy, entering the naval academy at Fiume (now Rijeka). He graduated four years later and completed two years of follow-on training voyages, including one to Australia. On the voyage home he visited the Holy Land where he met a Franciscan monk who took him on a tour of all the Biblical sites he wanted to see. Among other things, Trapp bought seven bottles of water from the Jordan River which were later used to baptize his first seven children. In 1900 he was assigned to the protected cruiser SMS Zenta and was decorated for his performance during the Boxer Rebellion. In 1902 he passed the final officer's examination. He was fascinated by submarines, and in 1908 seized the opportunity to be transferred to the navy's newly formed submarine arm, or U-boot-Waffe. In 1910 he was given command of the newly constructed SM U-6, which was launched by his wife, the former Agatha Whitehead. He commanded U-6 until 1913.
On 17 April 1915, Trapp took command of SM U-5 and conducted nine combat patrols. While in command of SM U-5 he sank two enemy warships:
- the French armored cruiser Léon Gambetta at on 27 April 1915, 25 kilometres (13 nautical miles; 16 miles) south of Cape Santa Maria di Leuca,
- the Italian submarine Nereide at on 5 August 1915, 250 metres (270 yd) off Pelagosa (Palagruža) Island.
He also captured the Greek steamer Cefalonia off Durazzo on 29 August 1915.
Georg Johannes von Trapp has sometimes incorrectly been credited with sinking the Italian troop transport Principe Umberto. In reality, this was sunk by U-5 under Trapp's successor, Friedrich Schlosser (1885–1959), on 8 June 1916, after Trapp was transferred to SM U-14 which had previously been the French submarine Curie, before it was sunk and salvaged by the Austrian Navy.
|28 April 1917||Teakwood||United Kingdom|
|3 May 1917||Antonio Sciesa||Kingdom of Italy|
|5 July 1917||Marionga Goulandris||Greece|
|23 August 1917||Constance||France|
|24 August 1917||Kilwinning||United Kingdom|
|26 August 1917||Titian||United Kingdom|
|28 August 1917||Nairn||United Kingdom|
|29 August 1917||Milazzo||Kingdom of Italy|
|18 October 1917||Good Hope||United Kingdom|
|18 October 1917||Elsiston||United Kingdom|
|23 October 1917||Capo Di Monte||Kingdom of Italy|
Trapp conducted ten more war patrols, until, in May 1918, he was promoted to Korvettenkapitän (equal to Lieutenant commander) and given command of the submarine base at Cattoro in the Gulf of Kotor. At the end of the fighting in 1918, Trapp's wartime record stood at 19 war patrols; 11 cargo vessels totalling 45,669 GRT sunk, plus Léon Gambetta and Nereide and 1 cargo vessel captured. Among other honours, he received the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa. The end of the First World War saw the defeat and collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the process, Austria was reduced in size to its land-locked German-speaking heartlands, thus losing its sea-coasts, and had no further need for a navy, leaving Trapp without a vocation or employment.
After the First World War, Zara became a part of the Kingdom of Italy: Georg von Trapp, who was born in Zara, obtained Italian citizenship and so when he had to flee from Austria (in 1938), he could go to Italy as an Italian citizen.
First marriage and inherited wealth
Trapp was first married to Agatha Whitehead, a niece of St John Brodrick, 1st Earl of Midleton and a granddaughter of Robert Whitehead, who invented the modern torpedo. After the British government had rejected Whitehead's invention, the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef invited him to open a torpedo factory in Fiume (present-day Rijeka, Croatia). Trapp's first command, the U-boat U-6, was launched by Agatha.
Agatha's inherited wealth sustained the couple and permitted them to start a family, and they went on to have seven children; two sons and five daughters, over the next ten years. Their first child, Rupert, was born on 1 November 1911, at Pola, Istria, while the couple was living at Pina Budicina 11.[Map 1] The marriage produced six more children: Agathe, also born at Pola; Maria Franziska; Werner; Hedwig; and Johanna; all born at Zell am See, at the family home, the Erlhof.[Map 2] and Martina, born at Klosterneuburg at the family home, the Martinsschlössel, for which she was named.[Map 3]
On 3 September 1922, Agatha von Trapp died of scarlet fever contracted from her daughter Agathe. Trapp then acquired Villa Trapp in Aigen, a suburb of Salzburg, and moved his family there in 1924.[Map 4]
At the age of 47, Trapp married Maria Kutschera, then aged 22, on 26 November 1927. They had three children: Rosemarie, born on 8 February, either 1928 or 1929, in Salzburg, Austria; Eleonore, born 14 May 1931, in Salzburg; and Johannes, born 17 January 1939, in Philadelphia, bringing the total number of the Trapp children to ten.
Departure from Austria and later life
In 1935, Trapp's money, inherited from his English first wife, was invested in a bank in England. Austria was under economic pressure from a hostile Germany, and Austrian banks were in a precarious position. Trapp sought to help a friend in the banking business, Auguste Caroline Lammer (1885–1937), so he withdrew most of his money from London and deposited it in an Austrian bank. The bank failed, wiping out most of the family's substantial fortune.
Faced with an impossible situation of little or no money and a husband incapable of providing for her or for the family, Maria von Trapp took charge and began to make arrangements for the family to sing at various events as a way of earning a livelihood. At about that time, a Catholic priest, Franz Wasner, around Maria's age, came to live with them and became the group's musical director. Around 1936, Lotte Lehmann heard the family sing, and she suggested they perform paid concerts. When the Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg heard them on the radio, he invited them to perform in Vienna.
According to Maria von Trapp's memoirs, Georg von Trapp found himself in a vexing situation after the German takeover of Austria in 1938. He was offered a commission in the German Navy, a tempting proposition for a Captain without a navy, but decided to decline the offer, being opposed to Nazi ideology. Knowing that he could not decline the offer without the threat of arrest, possibly for his entire family, Trapp decided to leave Austria. The family took a train to Italy, then sailed to the United States for their first concert tour, then in 1939 went back to Europe to tour Scandinavia, hoping to continue their concerts in cities beyond the reach of the Third Reich. During this time, they went back to Salzburg for a few months before returning to Sweden to finish the tour. From there, they traveled to Norway to begin the trip back to the United States in September 1939.
After living for a short time in Merion, Pennsylvania, where they welcomed their youngest child, Johannes, the family settled in Stowe, Vermont, in 1941. They purchased a 660-acre (270 ha) farm in 1942 and converted it into the Trapp Family Lodge. In January 1947, Major General Harry J. Collins turned to the Trapp family in the US pleading for help for the Austrian people, having seen firsthand the residents of Salzburg suffer when he had arrived there with the 42nd Rainbow Division after World War II. The Trapp Family founded the Trapp Family Austrian Relief, Inc., and the priest Franz Wasner, their pre-war friend, became its treasurer.
|Rupert||Agatha von Trapp (née Whitehead)||1 November 1911||22 February 1992(aged 80)||He married Henriette Lajoie (1927) in 1947 and had two sons and four daughters; they later divorced. He later married Janice Tyre (1920–1994), and had no children with her. He was a physician.|
|Agathe||12 March 1913||28 December 2010(aged 97)||She worked as a singer and an artist, and lived in Baltimore, Maryland. Agathe ran a kindergarten with her longtime friend of 50 years, Mary Louise Kane, at the Sacred Heart Catholic parish in Glyndon, Maryland. She had no children.|
|Maria Franziska||28 September 1914||18 February 2014(aged 99)||She worked as a singer and missionary in Papua New Guinea, no children. In 2008 she visited the ancestral home.|
|Werner||21 December 1915||11 October 2007(aged 91)||He married Erika Klambauer in 1948 and had four sons and two daughters, including Elisabeth von Trapp.|
|Hedwig||28 July 1917||14 September 1972(aged 55)||She worked as a teacher, lived in Hawaii, and died of asthma, no children.|
|Johanna||7 September 1919||25 November 1994(aged 75)||She married Ernst Florian Winter in 1948 and had three sons, one died, and four daughters. She lived in Vienna and died there.|
|Martina||17 February 1921||25 February 1951(aged 30)||In 1949, she married Jean Dupiere (died before 1998). She died of complications during childbirth and had a stillborn daughter.|
|Rosmarie||Maria von Trapp (née Kutschera)||8 February 1928 or 8 February 1929||Rosmarie worked as a singer and missionary in Papua New Guinea. She most recently lived in Pittsburgh, and had no children.|
|Eleonore||14 May 1931||She married Hugh David Campbell in 1954 and has seven daughters. She lives with her family in Waitsfield, Vermont.|
|Johannes||17 January 1939||Married 1969 to Lynne Peterson and has one son, Sam von Trapp, and one daughter, Kristina von Trapp-Frame. Johannes managed the family resort in Stowe, Vermont, with his son Sam.|
Orders, decorations and medals
- Knights Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa
- Knight of the Order of Leopold
- Military Merit Medal
- 1898 Jubilee Medal
- 1908 Jubilee Cross
- War Medal 1914–1918 with swords
- Long Service Cross (18 years)
- Iron Cross First Class (German Empire)
- Regarding personal names: Ritter is a title, translated approximately as Sir (denoting a Knight), not a first or middle name. There is no equivalent female form.
- "Trapp Family profile". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
Maria Augusta Kutschera (b. Jan. 26, 1905, Vienna – d. March 28, 1987, Morrisville, Vt., U.S.), the best-known member of the family, wrote The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (1949). She recounted her experience as an orphan and novitiate in a Benedictine convent in Salzburg. As a governess, she won the hearts of the seven children of a widower, Freiherr (Baron) Georg von Trapp, a World War I submarine commander, and of the baron himself. She was married to Trapp in 1927, and they had three children. In the mid-1930s the family began singing German and liturgical music under the tutelage of the Reverend Franz Wasner, who continued as their director. In 1937 they made their first European tour as professional singers—the Trapp Family Choir. With Father Wasner, the family fled in 1938 from Nazi-dominated Austria to Italy (he had got Italian citizenship) and then emigrated to the United States.
- "Tribute to Baron von Trapp Joined by Country He Fled". New York Times. 14 July 1997. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
The ceremonies ended today in a morning Mass, at which the cadets stood watch during a performance of Franz Schubert's Deutsche Messe, then laid a wreath at the grave of Baron and Baroness von Trapp, who were portrayed by Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews in the film The Sound of Music (1965). The six surviving children are Eleonore Campbell, and Rosmarie, Maria F., Werner, Johannes, and Agathe von Trapp, all of whom live in the United States.
- "von Trapp". HumphrysFamilyTree.com. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
Baron August von Trapp, or August Ritter von Trapp – Ritter" means "Sir" or "Knight", and "von" means rank of nobility, the English equivalent of his hereditary title is often given as "Baron", but the correct equivalent is "Sir August von Trapp, Baronet",.... August Trapp, Bad Homburg, Germany, b. 1836 d. 1884....had issue...(including) Baron Georg von Trapp, or Georg Ritter von Trapp (pron. "Gayorg") – b. 1880 Zadar, Croatia...
- Peerages in the United Kingdom
- Trapp, Georg von (1 December 2007). To the Last Salute: Memories of an Austrian U-Boat Commander. ISBN 0-8032-4667-6.
Not long after that Agathe, the oldest daughter, came down with scarlet fever. Her siblings contracted the disease, and their mother nursed them. ... They were married on January 10, 1911, and lived in the Trapp villa in Pola, Austria. Their first child, Rupert Georg von Trapp, was born November 1, 1911, ...
- Gearin, Joan. "The Real Story of the von Trapp Family". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
Maria Kutschera and Georg von Trapp married in 1927. They had three children together: Rosmarie (born 1928 or 1929) , Eleonore (born 1931), and Johannes (born 1939).
- von Trapp, p. 41.
- von Trapp 2007, p. 67
- Sources conflict on whether the marriage took place in January 1911 or January 1912.
- Social Security Death Index as "Rupert Vontrapp" 1 November 1911 – 22 February 1992; 05672 (Stowe, Lamoille, VT); 127-14-1082; Social Security issued in New York
- "Susan Hoyt, Teacher, Sets July Wedding". New York Times. 23 March 1980. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
The engagement of Susan Thatcher Hoyt to Bernhard Rupert von Trapp has been announced by her mother, Mrs. G. Chamberlin Hoyt of Short Hills, New Jersey. Mr. von Trapp is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Werner von Trapp of Waitsfield, Vermont, and Salzburg, Austria. A July wedding is planned.
- Trapp Family Lodge. "The von Trapp Chronology". Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
the nun... was not a governess. She was a tutor for one of the von Trapp sisters, who was too weak from scarlet fever to make the 45-minute trek to school.
- Petition for Naturalization, Retrieved 5 January 2009[better source needed]
- Kerr, Peter (29 March 1987). "Maria von Trapp, whose life was 'Sound of Music', is Dead". New York Times. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
Maria Augusta von Trapp, the guiding force behind a family of singers who won world renown when their story was portrayed in the play and film The Sound of Music, died of heart failure yesterday in Morrisville, Vermont, three days after undergoing surgery. She was 82 years old and had lived in Stowe, Vermont, for more than 40 years. ... She is survived by a son, Johannes, of Stowe; two daughters, Eleonore Campbell of Waitsfield, Vermont, and Rosmarie Trapp of Pittsburgh; two stepsons, Rupert, of Stowe and Werner, of Waitsfield; three stepdaughters, Agathe von Trapp of Glyndon, Maryland, Maria Franziska von Trapp of Papua New Guinea, and Johanna von Trapp of San Diego, California, and by 29 grandchildren.
- "Family Choir". Time magazine. 19 December 1938. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
When Soprano Lotte Lehmann heard them, she suggested concerts. When Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg heard them over the radio, he invited them to sing in Vienna. Soon the Trapp family was touring the whole map of Europe.
- "Family Life in Vermont". Time Magazine. 18 July 1949. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
In 1938, the Trapps arrived in the U.S. with $4 in their pocket and a concert contract in hand. Father Wasner came along as the family chaplain, by special dispensation of his bishop. 'How I hated this country at first', Mrs. Trapp says. "Oblong envelopes and mayonnaise on pears!' But the family was soon making $1,000 a concert, and she thought better of the country. "It's so big', she exclaims, "and I love to make long-distance calls!" All the Trapps are now U.S. citizens, have dropped their titles and the 'von'.
- "Tribute to Baron von Trapp Joined by Country He Fled". New York Times. 14 July 1997. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
In 1942, the Trapps bought a farm in Stowe and built the lodge, which burned in 1980 and was rebuilt. Some family members have continued to run the lodge as an inn and ski resort.
- In The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (1949), Maria points out that there was a high incidence of lung cancer among World War I U-Boat crews, due to the diesel and gasoline fumes, and poor ventilation, and that his death could be considered service-related. Maria also acknowledges in her book that, like most men of the period, the Captain was a heavy smoker.
- Social Security Death Index as "Werner Vontrapp" 21 December 1915; 11 October 2007 (V) 05673 (Waitsfield, Washington, VT); 127-14-1139; Social Security issued in New York
- Social Security Death Index as "Janice T. Vontrapp" – 26 June 1920; 21 December 1994 (V) 05672 (Stowe, Lamoille, VT); 05672 (Stowe, Lamoille, VT) 169-14-4569; Social Security issued in Pennsylvania
- "So long, farewell: Von Trapp daughter dies, aged 97". New York Times. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
Agathe von Trapp, whose film counterpart was 16-going-on-17 Liesl, who had her heart broken by Rolf, the post boy turned Hitler Youth member, died from heart failure at a hospice in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, her friend Mary Louise Kane said yesterday.
- Electronic mail from Carla Campbell von Trapp Hunter from August 2010
- Trapp, Johannes von. "The Trapp Family Biography".
- "Maria Trapp: Letztes Mitglied der singenden Familie tot". Salzburger Nachrichten (in German). 21 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Maria von Trapp, last member of Sound of Music family, dies". BBC. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
The last surviving member of the Trapp Family Singers, the group whose story inspired The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 99, her family say. Maria von Trapp died at her home in Vermont on Tuesday, her brother, Johannes von Trapp, told the Associated Press.
- "Maria von Trapp: last member of family group that inspired Sound of Music dies. Family escaped Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and won acclaim throughout Europe for their singing". The Guardian. Associated Press. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
The last surviving member of the famous Trapp Family Singers made famous in The Sound of Music has died at her home in Vermont, aged 99. Von Trapp's brother, Johannes von Trapp, said she died on Tuesday. ...
- "Maria von Trapp, last of famous singing siblings, dies at 99". CNN. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
Maria von Trapp, the last of the singing children immortalized in the movie musical 'The Sound of Music,' died at her Vermont home of natural causes, her half-brother told CNN on Saturday. The native of Austria was 99 and lived in Stowe. She died Tuesday.
- "Maria von Trapp, 'Sound of Music' Daughter, Dies at 99". New York Times. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
Maria Franziska von Trapp, the last surviving sibling of seven brothers and sisters who were portrayed in the Broadway musical and the film 'The Sound of Music,' died on Tuesday at her home in Stowe, Vt. She was 99. Her death was confirmed by her half-brother, Johannes von Trapp.
- Peterkin, Tom (26 July 2008). "Maria Franziska von Trapp returns to home that inspired The Sound of Music". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
Seventy years after fleeing the Nazis, a 93-year-old woman whose family was immortalised in "The Sound of Music" has returned to Austria to visit her former home.
- "Trapp Family biodata". Trapp Family Lodge. Archived from the original on 31 March 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2009.
- "Werner von Trapp, a Son in ‘Sound of Music’ Family, Dies at 91". Associated Press in New York Times. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
Werner von Trapp, a member of the family made famous by the stage musical and the 1965 movie 'The Sound of Music,' died Thursday at his home in Waitsfield, Vt. He was 91.
- "Granddaughter of 'Sound of Music' duo to perform". The Topeka Capital-Journal. 24 April 2008. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
Her father, Werner, who was portrayed in the musical as the stoic Kurt, purchased a dairy farm about 35 miles south of the von Trapp family's New World homestead after he left the Trapp Family Singers. ... Werner von Trapp died Oct. 11, 2007, at age 91.
- Clifford, Stephanie (24 December 2008). "Von Trapps Reunited, Without the Singing". New York Times. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
Still, Johannes von Trapp, the 10th and youngest child, remembers growing up relatively anonymously in a quiet, strict home. ... By 1969, he had graduated from Dartmouth, completed a master’s degree from the Yale school of forestry and was planning on an academic career in natural resources. He returned to Stowe to put the inn’s finances in order, and ended up running the place. He tried to leave, moving to a ranch in British Columbia in 1977 and staying a few years, then moving to a ranch in Montana. But the professional management in Stowe kept quitting. 'Now I’m stuck here,' he said.
- The Villa Trapp is at Pina Budicina 11 at
- The Erlhof is at
- The Martinsschlössel is at
- The family villa in Aigen is at