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Georg Von Trapp
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Military Personnel
    (April 4, 1880-May 30, 1947)
    Born in Zara, Austria-Hungary (now Zadar, Croatia)
    Austrian submarine commander during World War I
    Married Maria von Trapp (1927)
    Patriarch of the Von Trapp Family Singers
    His first wife, Agatha Whitehead, was an English heiress, which probably created some awkward moments when England and Austria ended up on opposite sides during World War I.
    After Austria lost its coastline – and thus its need for naval officers – following World War I, he lived off Agatha’s fortune.
    After losing Agatha’s inheritance in a banking collapse (1935), he lived off the musical talents of his children and his second wife.
    He was more than twice as old as Maria when they married.
    Unlike in ‘The Sound of Music,’ he and his family did not escape Nazi-occupied Austria by climbing the mountains into Switzerland. Instead, they took a train to Italy, where the family had dual citizenship as a result of Italy annexing Zadar following WWI.
    He was not at all the stern disciplinarian depicted in ‘The Sound of Music.’
    His great-granddaughter Sophia said, ‘He was the strong fatherly figure all the kids looked up to and respected. He really was the rock of the family.’
    In her autobiography, Maria admitted that she was not in love with Georg when she accepted his proposal: ‘I liked him, but didn’t love him. However, I loved the children, so in a way I married the children,’
    He left his homeland rather than serve in the navy of Nazi Germany.
    Demonstrating good timing, he and his family left Austria one day before the Nazis closed the borders.

Credit: C. Fishel


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