December 23, 2012, - 10:40 pm

“The Sound of Music”: We Don’t Have the Courage of Georg Von Trapp . . . Not Even Close

By Debbie Schlussel

Tonight, ABC broadcast the excellent, ever-relevant “The Sound of Music” movie, as it does every year around this time. As you know (or should), it’s the story of the family of Baron Georg Johannes von Trapp, an Austro-Hungarian Navy officer who was highly decorated for his World War I heroism. But his true heroism was that which is recounted in the musical: his refusal to give in to Nazi evil, a principled stand for which he gave up everything he had–a wonderful, luxurious, well-appointed life. A short while ago, I tweeted about “The Sound of Music” (follow me on Twitter), saying “They don’t make ’em like they used to.”


The Real Baron Georg Von Trapp Was a Man of Courage & Valor


With this tweet, I was thinking about how there are few movies and musicals like this because there is little courage left in the West. My Twitter follower Tom Odell was on top of this and tweeted back at me, “Georg von Trapp walked away from every luxury of life b/c he would not join evil. Could U imagine Obama doing same thing?” My response was that I believe very few Westerners or Western leaders would do the same: “I can imagine few Westerners doing the same these days. People have no guts, no backbone, and no principles.” And I elaborated on it at my Facebook fan page (join by liking here):

Twitter Follower Tom Odell responded to my tweet about “The Sound of Music,” noting: “Georg von Trapp walked away from every luxury of life b/c he would not join evil.” He asked if I could imagine Obama doing that today. But, sadly, it’s not just Obama. I can imagine few Westerners and Western leaders doing the right thing b/c they are selfish and PC morons. I can’t imagine George W. Bush walking away (and he didn’t, instead embracing Muslims), I can’t imagine Mitt Romney walking away, I can’t imagine John Boehner walking away, and frankly, I can’t imagine most conservatives walking away. After all, they won’t even give up Jihad Grover Norquist and his Al-Qaeda buddies (see also, here) or draft-dodgin’ babydaddy Ted Nugent.

The kids of Georg Von Trapp knew what he was doing was right and went along. Today’s kids and their single moms and sperm donors would be too busy watching the Kardashians and “The Voice” to care.

Yes, I know we have some very brave soldiers who’ve jumped on grenades to save their fellow men. And we have some courageous few, like Allen West and others. And many of you–most of you–are absolutely on the right side against evil and would be if faced by a Von Trapp situation. But that’s not most of our country, most of our leaders, or even most on the right. It’s just a very scant few. Most Americans just don’t have the will to do the right thing in the face of evil, which is why we are so amiss and aimless.

Sadly, we don’t have the courage of Georg Von Trapp. Not even close. And that’s why we are losing–already have lost–our country.

The Von Trapps came to the United States to escape the Nazis and live in freedom. Where will we go?

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I was watching “Evan Almighty” on cable – its an update of the Noah story.

G-d orders a powerful congressman to build an ark to save the animals and the world. He discovers that you can’t defy the will of G-d, if He wants a man to do something, you have no choice!

When it comes to good vs evil, we must follow Him and do what is right rather than what is comfortable or expedient.

In the end, it all works out. If we were faced with such a choice in life, its better to show the courage of the righteous few than to endure the opprobrium and scorn of the wicked. The sole reason the world endures is because of the righteous few in it.

Its for their sakes we are alive and are blessed and let us give G-d and them our thanks!

NormanF on December 23, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Anybody hear about this story-Rabbis in Israel warning people to not put up Christmas trees.Oh yeah, real tolerance in Israel.

nWo on December 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    The rabbis have every right to tell Jews not to do something especially when it is a direct descendent of a practice prohibited in the Torah, i.e. erecting Asherah poles. There’s no problem with Christian Arabs or Christian foreigners putting up trees. The problem is that Russian Jews used to do it in the USSR as a secular celebration and have brought it here. It is disconcerting to walk down the street in a predominantly JEWISH city and see stores filled with Christmas decorations. This is a relatively new phenomenon and to be fair, a lot of these people don’t understand why it is forbidden. The role of a rabbi is to teach his people.

    Italkit on December 24, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Thanks for the trivial pursuit nWo. This thread dealt with a family who gave up everything in order not to live under the Third Reich, and you bring up some Christmas trees. In your warped mind, such things are comparable.

    Worry01 on December 24, 2012 at 3:00 am

    Haaretz is hardly a reliable source of information. On the contrary, Haaretz is a news outlet that is very friendly—-to Israel’s enemies. If you don’t believe me, go check out some of the Islamic “news” outlets. They speak very highly of Haaretz, and “understandably” so: they both hate Israel. Yes, that’s correct, Israel permits a “news” outlet, Haaretz, to spew anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda.

    So go take your message of hate to Stormfront, Loonwatch, or some other site that holds your viewpoints. There’s plenty of them out there.

    Ralph Adamo on December 24, 2012 at 4:25 am

      Ralph, I live in Israel and I am speaking as an “eyewitness.” I don’t need Haaraetz. Never read the rag. The practice of putting up christmas trees is forbidden in Judaism. What’s your problem?

      Italkit on December 24, 2012 at 10:22 am

    ONE rabbi!!!!!!

    Last word on December 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      “The Chief Rabbinate will meet on Monday to formulate official directives concerning the kashrut status of businesses marking Christmas.”

      NOT “ONE,” Last word. The Rabbinate is a group of Rabbis who are the ultimate authority when there is a question of this kind. It’s a committee and questions are argued and debated extensively. I’m sure skzion would add that money changes hands, but that’s irrelevant. In Jewish law, a Christmas tree is an idol and it’s an idol of the Caananite religion so particularly heinous. It may be hard for Christians to understand the minutiae of Jewish law and how decisions are arrived at and that something of this sort is NOT trivial as Worry mentioned. The fact is, food is very scrupulously overseen so if a restaurant or food store is practicing “idolatry” then the food may be seen to be “sacrificed to idols.” That’s what they will be deciding.

      Italkit on December 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm

        Italkit, I’m in Paris and checked in. Why are you giving comfort to an enemy (someone who, ridiculously, equates a rabbinical pronouncement with the Holocaust)?

        Israel’s rabbinate is a bad joke, but that is not the issue.

        skzion on December 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

          sk, I’m not. I specifically said it is not anti-semitism. I also specifically said that the rabbis have every right to tell Jews how to live. How am I giving comfort to the enemy? This is a real issue here and it’s not minor. 4 years ago, it was occasional, now you see it in most major cities even ones with a large Religious population.

          Italkit on December 25, 2012 at 9:20 am

    The Rabbis NWO were deciding if the business should be labelled in compliance with Jewish law if they put up a Christmas tree. No one was talking about violence or firebombing. You’ll lose your Kosher status if you mix lard in with the candy you make, too. It is you buddies the Palestinians who murder over trifles.

    Meantime, Von Trapp was a moral giant—he had tremendous physical AND moral courage. Physical courage is not rare. Moral courage is—see Mark Twain on this very subject. That’s why he deserves a fabulous musical.

    Occam's Tool on December 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Great to see you back, OT. I had grown concerned.

      skzion on December 24, 2012 at 10:47 pm

        How very nice. I appreciate you guys.

        Rochelle, the 3 stooges’ families sued each other over intellectual rights, too.

        This has nothing to do with the fact that”You Nazsty Spy” predated Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, and that Moe Howard was the first American actor to skewer Adolf Hitler on film.

        Von Trapp was a man of moral courage. Later family lawsuits have nothing to do with this. Moe Berg did his country (The USA) great service before and during WWII. The fact that he was a has-been when he died has nothing to do with that.

        Occam's Tool on December 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm

          Respectfully, I was referring to the heirs of Von Trapp who obviously didn’t inherit his highly developed moral fiber.

          Rochelle on December 26, 2012 at 8:10 am

Speaking of Israel, Naftali Bennett showed courage in stating he would refuse to carry out an order to evict a Jew from his home.

Very few people defended him and every one piled on him for saying that he would do what he thought was right!

Sadly, we have very few people like that who would do what is right! Most people as Debbie noted in her tweet, have no guts, no backbones and no principles.

I was one of those who spoke up for him and showing true conviction can be a very lonely place these days. I admire people who say they won’t do something evil when its popular or politically correct. The spirit that we need – that G-d gave us – is sorely lacking in the world.

NormanF on December 24, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Yeah, yeah! So why does he stay in Israel Our Home, those pig eating leftists?

    Italkit on December 24, 2012 at 2:09 am

      Habayit Yehudi? Isn’t that why the Likud is attacking them because they have momentum in the polls?

      The Left isn’t going anywhere.

      NormanF on December 24, 2012 at 2:58 am

        They ARE the left, Norman, wake up Lieberman is for a Two State solution. They are secular, don’t observe any aspects of Judaism and hate all religious. And as for Bennett, big deal! One more politician speaking with forked tongue until he’s in office.

        Italkit on December 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

It’s somewhat sad that since this movie about an event in the 30s, there hasn’t been one about heroism since that time that’s been so unanimously endorsed by most people.

On a different note, I can’t see a Muslim Georg von Trapp ever existing, so Sound of Music would probably be the last movie made about such heroes.

Infidel on December 24, 2012 at 12:22 am

Miss Schlussel, Et Alii:

Ooooh, I’m soooo JEALOUS and ENVIOUS of you, because where you live, YOU are having a white Christmas, and because of where I live, I ain’t!

I didn’t watch “THE SOUND OF MUSIC” on television.

When I learned it was scheduled, I decided to watch the DVD of “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”, which I purchased at the AMAZON web site a while back.

Yes, that movie had a profound impact on my life, and I’ve got a couple of homemade amateur video recordings at the YOU TUBE web site of ME(!) strumming my guitar and singing, “EDELWEISS” and “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”.

When I saw the movie, “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”, it was 1966 in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I’d just been released after spending my teenage years in hell, locked up in a state mental hospital, tortured with electric shock treatments, and terrorized by othe inmates, who were also my only associates, and therefore greatly influenced the development of my character with their violence, immorality, perversion, and deviance (i.e., think “SLING BLADE” and/or “CHATTAHOOCHEE”).

Anyway, after a period of working menial jobs, I was unemployed and homeless, so I spent my last few dollars at the theater seeing, “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”, over and over and over, FIVE times in a row.

Then, with the shirt on my back, a couple of pennies in my pocket, and my Bible, I stuck out my thumb and began hitch-hiking into the unknown, seeking – – – what?

Well, I wandered all over the United States of America, hungry, wet, cold, and facing danger from some of the guys I caught rides with, a couple of whom, as I look back, I now suspect may have been serial murderers.

In Portland, Oregon, I became a convert to The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, and the young men in the church literally took me physically by the hand and taught me how to walk like a normal human being, and how to speak in a normal tone of voice.

Later, I passed a high school equivalency G.E.D. test, and having written a letter to President Lyndon Baines Johnson, my draft board military eligibility status was changed, allowing me to enter the United States Army, which opened up a whole new world of opportunities for education, training, travel, and adventure, all of which greatly enhanced my new sense of manly self respect.

I remember how much I loved Julie Andrews in “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”, and wanted to marry her.

But, when I told my mother about that, she laughed and told me Julie Andrews was twice my age.

Previously, I’d told you about how the song, novel, and movie, “EXODUS”, had a similar profound influence in my life, which eventually took me to the land of Israel, one of the most inspiring moments of my entire life.

And, yes, there’s also another homemade amateur YOU TUBE video recording of me strumming my guitar and singing, “EXODUS”.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you how much I love the movie, “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”.

Thank you, and – – –


John Robert Mallernee
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Gulfport, Mississippi 39507

John Robert Mallernee on December 24, 2012 at 12:29 am


What the film doesn’t show is most Austrians were enthusiastic Nazis and hated the Jews! They wanted “Anschluss” with Germany.

And Austria is not the innocent victim of Nazi Germany as the “Sound Of Music’s” convenient historical revisionism has made the country out to be.

Austrians have this idealized picture of themselves – their refusal to face their Nazi past that doesn’t square with the beautiful country depicted in the “Sound Of Music.” And let’s not forget their favorite son, Adolf Hitler – himself was a native of Austria before he became the German Fuhrer.

All things we should not brush off under the table. The von Trapps were a minority (albeit a principled one due to their anti-Nazi stand) in their own country.

NF: I disagree. I believe that one gets from the movie and the musical that the Von Trapps were in the minority, or else they wouldn’t have had to leave as they did and give everything up. The point is made that even the eldest daughter’s boyfriend becomes a Nazi and is willing to report on them and get them killed for dissenting. I don’t think it makes Austria look good. But you are correct that it makes Austria look like an unwilling victim that was taken over by the Nazis when Austrians (Hitler’s native people) were all too supportive and enthusiastic for Hitler and the Holocaust, etc. But it is a musical and meant for audiences of all ages at the time it was written, so it wasn’t meant to frighten per se. DS

NormanF on December 24, 2012 at 12:33 am


    You and Ralph are correct its a musical and its not concerned with historical accuracies. Its light family-oriented entertainment.

    My point was that Austria was far more enthusiastic about Nazism than Germany – most of the active perpetrators of the Holocaust were Austrian Nazis and the anti-Semitism was far more virulent than in the Old Reich.

    The von Trapps were decent people but they were in the minority. The vast majority were on the other side or at best were indifferent.

    NormanF on December 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Yes, Norman, Hitler was born and raised in a small Austrian village where his mother worked days as a housekeeper for a Polish Jewish family. He went to work with his mother as a small boy and would play with the son of the employer, thus his knowledge of yiddish. This info was verified by a German-Jewish widow I worked for, who, with her husband, came to America as the holocaust was beginning, from a village nearby.

    Rochelle on December 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Norman, please keep in mind that “The Sound of Music” is a work of art, and, as such, isn’t necessarily going to depict events, circumstances, conditions, etc. with historical acccuracy–and most art works usually don’t. The message of the film is still a good one, and the movie (and musical) is still powerful and inspirational.

I don’t watch broadcast TV anymore, but I was coincidentally watching a DVD of Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” tonight, including a documentary featurning its screenplay writer, Ernest Lehman, who also wrote the screenplay for “The Sound of Music” (and “West Side Story” and other hits from the past). Hearing him discussing the script and the writing process, I am reminded how the screenplay is the heart and soul of a movie, even though a good film is the result of many, many creative talents.

And because “The Sound of Music” is, of course, also a musical, there are really three creative talents that form the heart and soul of the movie: the composer, the lyricist, as well as the screenplay writer. That means the core of the movie, is the work of Richard Rogers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Ernest Lehman.

All three of these creative geniuses were Jewish. Thus, in a movie that deals with heroism against the rise of Nazis, the story, the characterizations, and other core elements are inevitably going to reflect ideals and values from a Jewish perspective. And we could probably add a fourth creative force here, director Robert Wise, who I also believe was Jewish.

And, although it’s been some time since I’ve seen the movie or a live production of the musical, I recall that Lehman did not brush off the willingness of Austrians to fall in line with the Nazis, and that this was part of the tragedy of the story…. That is, his script included the theme that otherwise “good” people, under certain political circumstances, would be persuaded to do bad things. We know from the famous Stanley Milgram Ph.D. psychological experiment that this is so. For those interested in psychology and the experiment in obediance to authority, here is a documentary in which you see subjects actually undergoing the Milgram experiment:

Ralph Adamo on December 24, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Robert Wise wasn’t Jewish. Oscar Hammerstein II was raised in his mother’s Christian faith.

    dee on December 24, 2012 at 9:26 am

      When I say that Rogers, Hamerstein, and Lehman (and possibly) Wise were Jewish, I mean that Judaism is part of their identities; not necessarily that they were practicing Jews. Felix Mendelsohn was not a practicing Jew either, and, in fact, his family had converted to Christianity, but he did not hide his Jewish origins and was proud of his roots. When the Nazis came to power, they banned his music. The Nazis faced a bigger problem with Johann Strauss II, who also had Jewish origins, because his music was an indelible part of German culture. So instead, in the case of Strauss, they tried to alter history. But the fact remains that in December 1887, Strauss wrote to his brother-in-law Josef Simon: “I’m not at all sure any more to which religion I belong… although in my heart I am more Jewish than Protestant.” Even Cole Porter, one of the greatest of the non-Jewish contemporary musical composers, had said that one of his success “secrets” was that learned to create music that incorporated old Jewish musical styles. It is the original “soul music.”

      Ralph Adamo on December 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm

More to the point of this article, there is a new made-for-TV production of “The Sound of Music” currently being produced with Carrie Underwood in the role of Baroness Maria Von Trapp that was played in the 1965 film by Julie Andrews (and, before that, on Broadway in 1959 by the late Mary Martin). It’ll be interesting to see how this new version holds up against the 1965 rendition – or whether there’ll be any kind of “PC” inserted into it as there is with much of what passes for “entertainment” these days.

And as for the point “otherwise ‘good’ people, under certain political circumstances, would be persuaded to do bad themes” . . . don’t we see this daily in our time with the mobs and drones in the streets (think “Occupy Wall Street” and other such groups), given who’s currently in office?

CP: Carrie Underwood as Maria? OY! Why does this need to be remade? It’s perfect as is. And with a schlocky American idol winner in the starring role? Yuck. DS

ConcernedPatriot on December 24, 2012 at 4:45 am

    “Why does this need to be remade?” – DS

    That was what I was thinking, and I’m very much in agreement on that. However, as to the basic answer: Because they (TPTB in Hollywood) can. It’s why so many films and TV shows that “never need to be remade” are.

    ConcernedPatriot on December 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I agree w/ Debbie that the movie does not hide the fact that many, if not most Austrians, were enthusiastic supporters of Hitler.

Although in the Liesel-Rolf conversation, it was cast as an Austria vs Germany issue, rather than a Nazi issue, and made Capt von Trapp look more like an Austrian nationalist, rather than an anti-Nazi.

But yeah, it did make Austria look like a victim of Nazi Germany, when in fact the Anschluss was welcomed by many Austrians.

Infidel on December 24, 2012 at 9:01 am


    The debate in the German historical choice was between the Klein Deutschland solution Bismarck pursued in keeping Catholic Austria out of the Prussian-led federation when it was defeated in 1866. The other was the Gross Deutschland solution that came into vogue after the Austro-Hungarian empire collapsed after World War II and the rump Germans of Austria were forced by the Allies to remain in a state they didn’t want. Hitler solved the latter issue by merging Germany and Austria into a single state.

    As for the Nazis not taking over Switzerland, this has to do with the peculiarities of Swiss German, which is not mutually intelligible with the High German spoken in Germany and Austria. Germany was once the “problem child” of Europe due to its late unification but it appears to have settled down in our time.

    NormanF on December 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

What the von Trapps did would not even make sense today to most modern westerners since their business is the business of living well or so they think. Won’t go into the many reasons for this. Merry Christmas to everybody and their loved ones.

Frankz on December 24, 2012 at 9:10 am

An inspiring story of Norwegian resistance can be found here.
The real heros of Telemark, if you don’t already know the story.
It’s not quite as Christmasy but it does have reindeer moss.

Frankz on December 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

I rarely watch TV because of all the decadence, however last night I happened to turn the tube on and noticed this old familiar classic movie that I had seen years before. I only managed to catch the last hour but it was enough to bring tears to my eyes. In addition to the heroism of Georg Von Trapp and his wife, the film captured a moment of time that I fear has been lost forever when it comes to family entertainment. Today’s film and TV shows, that are marketed to our youth, are filled with inappropriate images and dialogue as well as decadence and depravity. The characters in the Von Trapp family exhibited Class, stuff we rarely see today!

Rebecca on December 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

Not only don’t politicians not give up everything they have, but they bend ethics and legality (to say the least) to increase whatever they have, by any available means.

Little Al on December 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

The real tragedy these days is that not only people are refusing to leave the lap of luxury on basis of morality and principle, but also a lot of people are being lured into it (or at least investing in such promises).

I may be exaggerating, but now everything has turned into pornography – television, politics, celebrities. Civilization is becoming more populated with addicts, hypocrites, liars. And we are to blame for this because we never bothered to engage in a more spirited debate on the declining human condition.

There is nothing wrong with being enlightened, free from the shackles of superstition and outdated paradigms. But if there are no checks and balances to personal behaviour and ethics, we will soon degenerate into being our old, primal animal selves.

In a sea of selfish, self-indulgent and self-gratifying filth, this blog (Debbie’s that is – not mine) is an island of sanity.

Merry X-mas. I’ve got work to do. Jacques.

The Reverend Jacques on December 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

As sad as it is true.

CG on December 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Another thing that struck me is that Maria refused to go along with Georg’s friends and try to convince him to be reasonable and go along with the Nazis.Instead of pulling a mom knows best move she actually backs up her man. Can you imagine that happening today?

daisy on December 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

While none of the songs in this musical have a false ring to them, Oscar Hammerstein got it completely wrong in “South Pacific” with the tune “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught To Hate.” Every sociologist of any merit now knows that that’s a lot of hogwash. “Hate” is, in fact, the default setting of most humans. One has to be taught NOT to hate.

Irving on December 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Irving, I don’t think I agree with your assessment of human nature. If hatred came as a default emotion as you say, the Nazis would not have been spending so much time, effort, and tremendous dilegence toward the goal of inculcating their youth in their evil ways. Muslims also follow that same model and spend countless hours repeatedly poisoning the minds of their children at the youngest age possible. But for a song that’s more in line with your way of thinking, check out Ray and Dave Davies (from the classic British band, The Kinks) and their song “Hatred.”

    Ralph Adamo on December 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Hedy Lemarr walked away from luxury to flee the Nazis.

She died in modest circumstances living in Orlando, Florida. Not too many years before she died she faced a charge of shoplifting, perhaps she had very little money.

Sad way to end, for a courageous woman who made a great contribution to modern technology, and made not a single penny off of it.

BethesdaDog on December 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I love “The Sound of Music”. I remember during glee club in high school we put on a big production for this musical. I couldn’t act worth a darn but I could sing. It was a great performance. Sadly so many of us these days do lack the courage that Georg von Trapp had. We all know that our spineless political class on both sides (mostly democraps) DO NOT have the character to stand on principle. Just look at our president, vice president, speaker of the house and our senate majority leader. Do you think that any of these “men” stand on principle for the good of the people that they’re supposed to serve? If you truly answer this question in the affirmative then the lesson of TSOM is lost. Well I’m on my way to the in-laws. To Debbie and all of the regular posters have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Ken b on December 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Marlena Deitrich (sp?) entertained American troops fighting against the Nazis. She is buried in Germany, and her grave has been desecrated a number of times.

Jonathan E. Grant on December 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm

For Tom Odell: you go to the White House petition site, and look up the active petitions, by the way. There were two on the British cretin (Piers), the last time I checked—be sure to sign both. I did.

Occam's Tool on December 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm

The only person missing in all this schmaz is the Lord Jesus Christ and sad to say, not even Debbie Schlussel is willing to accept Jesus as her own personal Savior. She is willing to risk spending all eternity in a lake of fire. Read Isaiah chapter 53 and find the TRUTH!!!! And the Truth shall set you free. Why go to hell and spend all eternity with the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mussolini, John Kerry, Jimmy Carter, and with all leftist news mmedia, leftist lawyers and leftist Judges,etc.!!

Last word on December 24, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Sorry Last word, but I’m afraid you’re not going to have the “Last word.” The name Jimmy Carter sticks out on that list of notables like a swollen pus-filled pimple. He has spent his entire life babbling about his love of “The Lord Jesus Christ,” especially during both of his presidential campaigns. And “Schmaz” isn’t a word in any language.

    Irving on December 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Disgusting, Last word. Also, the allusion to Milton isn’t even doctrinally correct. Now have a really rotten Noel.

    skzion on December 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

I believe that 2 of the Von Trapp sons served in the US Army during ww2.

annelid on December 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I rarely post here and even as I do so, it is with all due respect. Among western leaders who would Definitely stand up to evil, as his record proves, would be one Tom Tancredo, R-Co. for all his limitations, when it came to represenenting America in the most statesmanlike manner, Tom stood firmly against the two biggest threats against USA: Illegal Immigration and Islam.
In the face of hostility from not only lestists and liberals, but even from his own party, Tom stood his ground. Dubya, who slapped Bandar’s behind, deliberately would not give any tim to Tom. As everyone knows, Dubya was a Saudi puppet in White House.
Coming back to Tom Tancredo, America nailed it’s coffin by ignoring a bright and patriotic political leader.

Alert on December 25, 2012 at 12:20 am

Norman, the klein Deutsche solution might have worked better had Bismarck made it a Protestant/Lutheran Deutschland, and kept Catholic Bavaria out of the federation as well.

But speaking of the Austrians, they just reacted badly to being shrunk from one of Europe’s largest powers – an empire that included Hungary, Bohemia, parts of Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia – to a mere shadow of its size, losing its entire coastline. The country’s name is a translation from Oestereich, which means ‘Eastern empire’, and in that context, the name of the country after WWI was pretty much a parody of itself. While this does not justify them being pro-Nazi, it does explain why they may have been supportive of the Anschluss.

Infidel on December 25, 2012 at 12:28 am

    I must correct my last reply on one point: I meant World War I.

    Now both German-speaking states had an empire. Before World War I, the German Reich ruled minorities in Poland, Jutland and part of France. Germans were the majority.

    In Austro-Hungary, the Germans were a minority that ruled over a mass of people with whom they had nothing in common: Italians, Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Moldovans and of course the Jews. It was a true multinational state like Russia is today.

    After World War I, Austrians felt their future would be secured with a union with Germany – which French short-sightedness derailed, leading to the rise of the Nazis. And of course many Austrians saw the Allies as hypocrites who denied them self-determination for raw reasons of geopolitical power and not justice.

    A united and stable democratic Germany would have been in France’s and Europe’s best interests. As matters stood then, the victor’s justice exacted at Versailles and St-Germain ended up securing a twenty years’ truce. Had Austria been peaceably allowed to unite with Germany in 1919, the rest of the 20th Century might have avoided the twin scourges of Nazism and Communism.

    NormanF on December 25, 2012 at 8:37 am

As I recall, the Von Trapp family, in later years, were involved in numerous lawsuits with each other regarding the copy-wrights and profits from the production.

Rochelle on December 25, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Rochelle, that was totally uncalled for. It brings disgrace on you as a Jew, more than it does to impugn the reputation of the Von Trapp family. Go look up Lashon ha ra and consider the movement of your lips (or in this case, fingers on the keyboard) in the future.

    Italkit on December 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

Norman, this is right. Germany and Austria-Hungary both got a raw deal after WWI. The indemnity that Germany had to pay the allies would have lasted to the late 20th century. The treaty of Versailles pretty much guaranteed WWII.

The use of the victory to do what was always previously done – annex more territory – simply meant that the next German party, which challenged the treaty of Versailles and would resume things like re-industrialization of the Ruhr, militarizing Alsace & Lorraine and marching into the Rhineland – would win the broad based support of the German public at large. Unfortunately, that party happened to be the Nazis.

With Austria having lost everything that existed of its empire, allowing it to be a part of Germany would have been a good solution. However, if the combined nation was subjected to the humiliation that Germany was subjected to, the results may not have been all that different – Hitler would still have captured the imagination and come to power.

Of course, w/ the united Europe concept that’s been in vogue the last few decades, they have other ways of coming together. Although that utopian experiment has become unpopular throughout Europe.

Infidel on December 26, 2012 at 12:48 am

The real story behind the Sound of Music is far more fascinating that the ‘light entertainment’ of the musical … which is itself timeless and universal.

You would be surprised how nuanced the actual story is and caution is needed in this comments thread.

My reading of Maria Trapp’s account of their lives and speaking with Georg Trapp’s granddaughter revealed the following interesting facts ….

For instance, did you know Georg was elevated to ritter, or the equivalent of a baronetcy or hereditary knighthood. So, at birth, his name was Georg Ludwig Trapp. On elevation to baronet for military service, he became entitled to the style Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp. Ritter means baronet and von, a family of nobility.

Did you know that Georg was never a baron and that to refer to him as such is historically inaccurate?

Did you know that in 1919, Austria abolished all noble titles retrospectively. Officially therefore, his name reverted to Georg Ludwig Trapp immediately after WWI, no sooner had he been ennobled. Any reference to von or ritter or even baron for an Austrian or an Austrian descendant is unsupported by Austrian law. Such references were sometimes informally tolerated after WWI on the basis that the population was still adjusting to seismic changes affecting the collapsed Austro-Hungary order. In Austria, such references faded within a generation in informed company and their use today is regarded as a faux-pas.

Interestingly, it was lucky for Georg that Maria was a driven, practical woman. Sometime between 1927 when they married and 1938 when they left Austria, probably around 1929 to 1935, Germany prohibited tourism with Austria. As you can imagine for picturesque Austria, this dramatically impeded its economy generally and financial sector specifically. Georg personally knew the woman who owned his local bank. This bank was distressed by the Nazi constriction and Georg was persuaded to help this bank owner with an injection of capital. He took all his Whitehead inheritance, which was still invested in a large British bank and on which he lived, and invested in the local Austrian bank. The Austrian bank collapsed and Georg lost the entire fortune.

For dozens of other intriguing facts regarding this interesting family, you could do no better than read Maria Trapp’s account, visit Salzburg or Stowe, VT, or otherwise read my convenient summary of it all at

I wish you well.

Kenelm Tonkin

Kenelm Tonkin on January 25, 2013 at 7:38 am

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