In The Sound of Music, Captain Georg von Trapp sings "Bless my homeland forever." On July 13, that homeland returned the compliment at the grave of the real-life captain.
According to a report in the New York Times, Walter Greinert, the Consul General of Austria, attended a special ceremony at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT, which the singing family founded after fleeing Nazi-held Austria in the 1940s. The family's story is recounted in Rodgers and Hammerstein's stage and film musical. Baron von Trapp, who had been a skilled submarine commander in World War I, left his country rather than serve the conquering Nazis.
Eighty-nine cadets of Austria's Theresianum Military Academy had chosen the Baron as their class patron in 1994, and in return, the surviving von Trapp children invited them to visit the Vermont ski lodge.
The Times reported that the cadets listened to a performance of Franz Schubert's "German Mass." (the seemingly odd choice was not explained in the report) and laid a wreath at the grave of the Baron and his wife Maria, who were portrayed on Broadway by Theodore Bikel and Mary Martin.
Greinert said the Trapp family "always stood for patriotism and righteousness," and said he was a representative of "a new Austria in a new Europe." -- By Robert Viagas