A doctor advised her to have an abortion because her child would be disabled

The pro-life story of Maria von Trapp, whose life inspired the film 'The Sound of Music'

One of the most famous musicals in film history tells the story of an Austrian family who had to leave their country to flee from the Nazis.

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A novice who had been raised as an atheist and a socialist

"The Sound of Music" is a sensational film. However, many facts were changed. As noted by US National Archives, Maria von Trapp grew up in Vienna and had an atheist and socialist upbringing by an uncle of hers, since she had been orphaned. As she has happened to many people, she met faith by "chance" when she attended a Palm Sunday service, believing it to be a concert of music by Bach. Significantly, music led her to God, and she ended up entering the Benedictine Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg as a novice after graduating from university.

The Von Trapp family in the United States, together with the priest Franz Wasner, who fled with them from Austria. In the center of this photo we see little Johannes, the protagonist of this story (Photo: Getty Images).

An Austrian Navy captain in a country that ran out of sea

Georg von Trapp had been a sailor for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but after World War I Austria lost all its seaports and Georg gave up his military career. He had seven children with Agathe Whitehead (granddaughter of the British Robert Whitehead, inventor of the torpedo), but she died in 1922 of scarlet fever, when the family lived in Pola (currently called Pula, today in Croatia), a a town in the Austro-Hungarian Empire that had passed into Italian hands in 1918. Georg was born in Zadar (now part of Croatia), which also passed into Italian hands during the interwar period, so he the captain and his children had dual citizenship, Austrian and Italian. After becoming a widower, Georg moved with her family to Salzburg. her family had been so devastated by Agathe's death that he could not bear to live any longer in the home where they had been happy with her.

Georg and Maria's marriage

Maria met the Von Trapp family in 1926. Georg asked the abbey for someone who could take care of his little daughter (also called Maria), who was sick, so Maria didn't actually get to see her. the Von Trapp household to be the governess to the seven children. Maria got along very well with the children of the Von Trapp family and the captain ended up proposing to her. They were married in 1927, and not in the days before the German annexation of Austria. In 1929 George and Maria's first daughter, Rosmarie (died 2022), was born and in 1931 their second, Eleonore (died 2021), was born. Because of the crisis of 1929, the family experienced many difficulties. In 1936 they won first place at the Salzburg Music Festival (it was not after the German annexation, as the film points out).

The singers of the Trapp family in 1950. Georg, who had died in 1947, no longer appears. Maria is the one who is sitting. Johannes, the protagonist of this story, is the boy on the left. He was then 11 years old (Photo: Getty Images).

The German annexation of Austria and the march of the Von Trapps to the US

With the German annexation, the Von Trapp family saw that Austria had fallen into the hands of a Nazism they hated. Georg refused to hang the Nazi flag in his home and refused to join the German Navy, and the family refused to sing on Hitler's birthday. In addition, the nazis began to promote anti-Catholic campaigns, so Georg and Maria were afraid that they would end up indoctrinating their children. So, they decided to leave the country, but not to Switzerland, as seen in the film, but to Italy, since the family had -as I have pointed out- dual Austrian and Italian nationality. They arrived in Italy in June 1938, three months after the German annexation of Austria. From there they traveled to London and then traveled by boat to New York, ready to start a concert tour in the US, where they ended up becoming famous. After leaving Austria,the nazis seized his home and used it as the headquarters of Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS.

A doctor advised Maria to have an abortion but she refused

What also does not appear in the film is that Maria made that trip while pregnant. During the pregnancy, she experienced back pain and consulted a doctor. He told her that she should not have any more children and that the baby she was expecting would surely be born disabled, so she was advised to have an abortion. As RightToLife News remembers, Maria refused, pointing out that she and her family were Catholic. During the pregnancy, Maria and her family prayed a lot for that unborn child, who was finally born completely healthy.

Maria von Trapp (left) with Julie Andrews and Patricia Doyle, during the filming of "The Sound of Music" (Photo: The Academy).

Georg died in 1947 of cancer and Maria followed in 1987. Maria and the girls in the family had been granted US citizenship, but Georg never applied for it. Georg's eldest children Werner (1915-2007) and Hedwig von Trapp (1917-1972) achieved US citizenship while serving in the Armed Forces during World War II. Currently, only one of the Trapp family singers lives: Johannes , born in Philadelphia on January 17, 1939, during a family concert tour after his arrival in the United States. He was a singer-songwriter, served in the Vermont National Guard, became a medical officer, today he is 84 years old and he is the child that Maria refused to abort.

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