'Sound of Music' Family Honored
Dec. 03, 1998
NEW YORK (AP) _ Sixty years after fleeing their homeland, members of the family that inspired ``The Sound of Music'' were honored by the Austrian state of Salzburg.
It wasn't the sound of music the von Trapps heard behind them as they fled Salzburg in 1938. The Nazis wanted family patriarch Baron Georg von Trapp to join their navy. So, over the mountains they fled, eventually reaching the United States.
Their story inspired the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that opened on Broadway in 1959 and was revived this year. The 1965 film version starred Julie Andrews.
Dr. Arno Gasteiger, vice governor of Salzburg, presented six of the baron's children with the state's highest civilian honor, the Golden Decoration of Honor, at a New York hotel before attending a performance of the musical Wednesday.
``The von Trapp family has been the most famous ambassadors of Austria in America,'' said Gasteiger, who praised the family for collecting tons of food and clothing for Austria after World War II.
``We never expected to be honored for anything,'' said Agathe von Trapp of Baltimore. ```The Sound of Music' has proven to be a great blessing to the city and land of Salzburg.''
Gasteiger also presented medals to seven actors who portrayed the von Trapp family children in the movie version of ``The Sound of Music.''