Werner von Trapp

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Werner von Trapp
Vontrapp-werner.jpg
Born(1915-12-21)21 December 1915
Zell am See, Austria-Hungary
Died11 October 2007(2007-10-11) (aged 91)
Waitsfield, Vermont, United States
OccupationSinger, farmer
Spouse(s)Erika Klambauer
ChildrenBarbara, Martin, Bernhard, Elisabeth von Trapp, Tobias, Stefan
ParentsGeorg Ritter von Trapp
 
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Werner von Trapp
Vontrapp-werner.jpg
Born(1915-12-21)21 December 1915
Zell am See, Austria-Hungary
Died11 October 2007(2007-10-11) (aged 91)
Waitsfield, Vermont, United States
OccupationSinger, farmer
Spouse(s)Erika Klambauer
ChildrenBarbara, Martin, Bernhard, Elisabeth von Trapp, Tobias, Stefan
ParentsGeorg Ritter von Trapp

Werner Ritter von Trapp (21 December 1915 – 11 October 2007) was the second-oldest son of Georg Ritter von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead. He was a member of the Trapp Family Singers, whose lives were the inspiration for the play and movie The Sound of Music.[1] He was portrayed as the character "Kurt".[2][3]

Biography[edit]

He was the second-oldest son of Georg Ritter von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead (1891–1922). Werner was named after his paternal uncle, who died during World War I. Along with his six siblings Rupert von Trapp (1911–1992), Agathe von Trapp (1913–2010), Maria Franziska (born 1914), Hedwig von Trapp (1917–1972), Johanna von Trapp (1919–1994) and Martina von Trapp (1921–1951), father, and stepmother, Maria Augusta von Trapp, Werner comprised the Trapp Family Singers, who inspired the 1959 Broadway musical and the 1965 Academy Award winning Best Picture The Sound of Music. In the family chorus he sang tenor.

Georg and Maria Augusta had three children together: Rosemarie von Trapp (born 1928),[4] Eleonore von Trapp (born 1931), and Johannes von Trapp (born 1939).

The Trapps fled Austria after the German annexation of Austria,[5] fearing reprisals resulting from declining to sing at Hitler's birthday party[6] and Georg von Trapp's refusal to accept a commission in the German Navy.[7] They went to the United States in 1938, settled in Vermont in 1942, and performed throughout the country. Georg Ritter von Trapp died in 1947 and the family eventually ceased performing.

Von Trapp became a naturalized United States citizen while serving in the United States Army, initially serving with the 101st Infantry Battalion and later the 10th Mountain division in Italy during World War II. He then became a dairy farmer before eventually retiring in Waitsfield, Vermont.

He married Erika Klambauer in 1948 and had six children, Barbara, Martin, Bernhard, Elisabeth von Trapp, Tobias, and Stefan.

He was the grandfather of Sofia, Melanie, Amanda, and August, the current incarnation of the Trapp Family Singers.[8] He died on 11 October 2007.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Werner von Trapp 1915 – 2007. Werner von Trapp passed away at his home in Waitsfield, Vermont on October 11, 2007. He was 91". Trapp Family Lodge. Retrieved 9 January 2011. "Werner von Trapp was born in Zell am See, Austria in 1915, the fourth child and second son of Captain Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead. He studied cello at Salzburg's Mozarteum in the 1930's, and became proficient on several other instruments, as well as in the art of composing and arranging. He sang tenor with his family's choir, The Trapp Family Singers, who won great acclaim throughout Europe after their debut in 1935." 
  2. ^ a b "Maria Von Trapp's Stepson Dead at 91". Associated Press in Washington Post. 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. ... In the movie "The Sound of Music," Werner von Trapp was depicted by the character named Kurt." 
  3. ^ a b "Granddaughter of 'Sound of Music' duo to perform". The Topeka Capital-Journal. 24 April 2008. 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 October 11, 2007, at age 91." 
  4. ^ Gearin, Joan. "The Real Story of the von Trapp Family". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  5. ^ According to an article published in the July 18, 1949, issue of TIME magazine, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,794845,00.html#ixzz0uzMskNvx the family left Austria prior to the time that Hitler invaded Austria
  6. ^ "Hitler's birthday party" was a national celebration in observance of Hitler's 50th birthday (April 20, 1939), and it consisted of a number of events held throughout the German Reich. The presence or absence of one singing group, more or less, is not likely to have triggered any reprisal.
  7. ^ In 1938, Georg von Trapp was 58-years old, had recently lost all his money in a bank failure, and had not been inside a submarine since the end of the First World War. It seems doubtful that the German Navy, in 1938, would have been interested in pursuing such a person.
  8. ^ "Susan Hoyt, Teacher, Sets July Wedding". New York Times. 23 March 1980, Sunday. 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." 

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