September 9th, 2008
Santa Cruz, California
Received by FAB
I am here, the Baron von Trapp.
I knew my career would inspire others. I also knew the Nazis would
be defeated, not because of the Allied offensive, but because the
Nazis were unjust and cruel. I felt they had no right to invade
and take over my beloved Austria.
Now that dark forces threaten again, I say to you that an unjust
system cannot remain, and must yield to truth. The more you contemplate
this, the more confident and happy you will be at this difficult
Georg Ludwig von Trapp was born in Zadar, Dalmatia, then
part of Austria-Hungary, now in Croatia. His father, August von
Trapp, died in 1884, when he was four. His older sister was the
Austrian artist Hede von Trapp. He also had a brother, Werner Von
Trapp who died in World War I in 1915. In 1894, he followed his
father's career into the Austro-Hungarian Navy, entering the naval
academy at Fiume. He graduated four years later and completed two
years of follow-on training voyages including a trip to Australia.
In 1900 he was assigned to the armored cruiser Kaiserin und Königin
Maria Theresia and was decorated for his performance during the
Boxer Rebellion. In 1902 he passed the officer's examination.
In early May 1938, the family, opposed to Hitler's annexation of
Austria, his ordering them to perform, and having received offers
to perform in the United States, left Austria and fled to Italy
by train (not to Switzerland on foot as depicted in The Sound of
Music) and then to the United States. After living for a short time
in Merion, Pennsylvania, where their last child Joannes was born,
the family settled in Stowe, Vermont in 1941. They purchased the
old Gale Farm where they built a home which they named Cor Unum
(One Heart).(Source: Wikipedia)