Julie Andrews said she could "feel the evil" in the real von Trapp house while visiting it

Julie Andrews said she could "feel the evil" in the real von Trapp house while visiting it

The von Trapp house was later occupied by Nazis and used as a summer residence by Heinrich Himmler, one of the main slaughterers and architects of the Holocaust, until 1945.

The Sound of Music still remains one of the most iconic films which chronicles the life of Maria von Trapp and the von Trapp family. Actress Julie Andrews played the matriarch of the real-life singing family and she told BuzzFeed News that the musical was not filmed in the real von Trapp family's home. But she did visit the actual place and the experience was quite unsettling for the star. 

"It wasn't until much later that I happened to visit the real villa where they actually lived," she shared, adding how she could "feel the evil that once permeated those walls." She continued, "Because after they fled the country, which they had to do, as in the film, [leading Nazi Heinrich] Himmler took over that villa, and the atrocities there were just terrible."


Per reports, the actual von Trapp family resided in the house from 1923 until they fled Austria in 1938. Then a year later, the "Missionaries of the Precious Blood" rented out the villa, and a few months after the Nazis ended up occupying it. Himmler, the head of the paramilitary Schutzstaffel, or SS, was one of the main slaughterers and architects of the Holocaust. 

He used the Von Trapp house as his summer home which was surrounded by barbed wire, armed guards, and a wall that was said to be built by conscripted slave labor. Today, the villa is the only historic site where the Von Trapp family actually resided and the public is allowed to visit the grounds.

"What Himmler did here is a heavy weight on the house. But we are also proud to live in the von Trapp house, the house of the man who said no to the Führer," rector of the Kolleg St. Josef, Precious Blood Fr. Andreas Hasenburger, told the National Catholic Reporter



Per national archives cited by Cheat Sheet, Georg von Trapp refused to fly the Nazi flag on his property. Moreover, he not only declined a naval command but also a request to sing at Hitler's birthday party. Apparently, Captain von Trapp was a softie unlike the harsh portrayal of his character in the film and musical. The family reportedly tried to persuade producers to soften Christopher Plummer's character but failed, according to Refinery 29.


During a 1998 New York Times interview, Johannes von Trapp said, "It's not what my family was about. . . . [We were] about good taste, culture, all these wonderful upper-class standards that people make fun of in movies like Titanic. We're about environmental sensitivity, and artistic sensitivity. Sound of Music simplifies everything. I think perhaps reality is at the same time less glamorous but more interesting than the myth." 

He added that the real-life Maria was actually the taskmaster and disciplinarian who was "a much more complex person, a more extreme person than Julie Andrews portrayed. Everything she did was larger, louder, bigger, faster.  She was the sort of person who when she walked into a room, everyone stopped talking and looked at her."


Cover image source: IMDb

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