Monday, 21. April 2014
22. 02. 14. - 11:00
The last member of the singing and dancing von Trapp family that inspired the Sound of Music has died aged 99 at home in Vermont, America.
The family fled their home of Salzburg in Austria when the Nazis arrived and ended up performing around America where this story eventually inspired the 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical hit.
Maria Franziska, who was the last of the seven brothers and sisters from the von Trapp family who was still alive, died in her sleep aged 99.
Family friend Marianne Dorfer who runs the von Trapp Villa Hotel in Salzburg said: "It was a surprise that she was the one in the family to live the longest because ever since she was a child she suffered from a weak heart. It was the fact that she suffered from this that her father decided to hire Maria von Trapp to teach her and her brothers and sisters. That of course then led to one of the most remarkable musical partnerships of the last century."
Maria Franziska was born in 1914 in Zell am See which is in the province of Salzburg and in 1938 fled with her family.
The Sound of Music which told the story of the musical family every year attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Salzburg even now, almost 50 years after it was made.
Maria was last back in Salzburg in 2008 when she flew back to the family home in Salzburg for the first time since she fled the Nazis in the 1930s.
The second-eldest daughter of Baron von Trapp visited the house she lived in just before it opens as a new hotel. The estate was confiscated by the Nazis during World War II and put at the disposal of SS police chief Heinrich Himmler, who had barracks built on the grounds for his men.
Following the death of Baron von Trapp's first wife, aspiring nun Maria Kutschera joined the family to teach the children, fell in love with the baron, and married him in 1927.
The family always sang and played instruments together, and having lost all their fortune in 1935 in the throes of the world economic crisis, their musical talent proved a saviour.
An opera singer heard the children sing in the park and entered them for a competition. Soon the von Trapps started to tour Europe and the United States as a family choir.
For Baron von Trapp, a staunch Austrian patriot and opponent of Adolf Hitler, his singing family also provided the escape ticket from the Nazi regime. The family did not return from a concert tour in the United States.
"Without the singing, we would have never made it to the United States," said von Trapp.
While The Sound of Music, one of the most successful films ever made, produced a series of well-loved musical hits like "Edelweiss" or "Sixteen going on 17", the family took exception to the way they were portrayed.
Julie Andrews starred as the aspiring nun Maria in the 1965 film, while Christopher Plummer played Baron von Trapp, who was depicted as a strict patriarch, obsessed with discipline.
"We were all pretty shocked at how they portrayed our father, he was so completely different. He always looked after us a lot, especially after our mother died," Maria von Trapp said in one interview before she died.
"You have to separate yourself from all that, and you have to get used to it. It is something you simply cannot avoid."
Her stepmother Maria had another three children with Baron von Trapp, and the family settled on a farm in Vermont in 1942.
Pink Easter bunny helps Vienna art world pay tribute to Dürer
The Viennese art world has created its own version of the Easter Bunny – by making a giant sized sculpture of the famous Albrecht Dürer painting currently on display until 29 June as part of the exhibition "Dürer, Michelangelo, Rubens"
Pressure Group To Tackle Victims Of Austrian Officialdom
A group of businessmen fed up at the way companies are being squeezed not only by red tape but also by ever newer taxes have taken to the Internet to try and build up pressure for change.
First Hotel in Millstatt Celebrates 130th Anniversary on Summer 2014
Luxury hotel See-Villa in Millstatt, Carinthia opens its doors anew to welcome the 2014 summer season and celebrates its 130th founding anniversary in Austria's summer capital.
Austrian Teen Girls Become Pin Ups For Syrian Jihad
Interpol is searching for two Austrian teenage girls who they believe have been tricked into going to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels.
As seen at Haydn Kino: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Film review by Kostyantyn Steblovskyy
Schools Ordered To Save, But Also To Buy Expensive Scales
Austria's embattled finance ministry has been dragged into a new scandal after it emerged that at the same time as demanding schools save 57 Millionen Euros, they were also expected to find an additional 3 million to buy an approved set of weighing scales.
OAP Hunts Down THIS Hit And Run Cyclist
Does anyone recognise this cyclist? If so you can get yourself 200 euros, and do a good deed in the process.
Property price rise continues
The price of property in Vienna has now spiralled so much that every 4th apartment comes with a price tag of 500,000 or more. And every second flat costs 300,000 or more.
Free Staff For One Person Companies - But Only In NÖ
Since the beginning of the year one-man-companies, the so called "Ein-Personen-Unternehmen" in Lower Austria have been entitled to help in the form of a free assistant.
What is on at Burg Kino this week? (18 April - 24 April)
This week at the Burg Kino on the Opernring the following films are showing:
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Austrian Teen Girls Become Pin Ups For Syrian Jihad|
|Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies|
|Austria Accused Of Ignoring Giant Nazi Swastika|
|Muslim Brotherhood leader denies move to Graz|
|Two teenage girls go missing as they fly from Austria to fight in Syria|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.