Maria Augusta Kutschera was born on a train which was carrying her mother from a village in the Tyrol to Vienna on January 26, 1905. By the time the girl was seven years of age, she was an orphan. She received a good education and became a teacher. Her heart's desire, though was to become a nun, and to that end she entered an abbey in Salzburg to prepare for the life of her dreams.
While teaching at the abbey, Maria was asked to take on a student who was the child of one Baron Georg von Trapp. Through this endeavor, she eventually found herself caring for all this widower's seven children. Captain von Trapp saw how much the children adored Maria, and thus he asked her to marry him. The idea did not appeal to her, and she fled back to the abbey to get counsel from her Mother Abbess. Mother told her it was God's will that she marry von Trapp.
She returned to him and agreed to the marriage, since she had a deep-seated belief that she should always follow the will of God. Yet she said that on her wedding day, she was angry with both God and von Trapp. She wrote, "I really and truly was not in love. I liked him but didn't love him. However, I loved the children, so in a way I really married the children. I learned to love him more than I have ever loved before or after."*
Under the Nazi regime, the von Trapps fled Vienna and went first to Italy, then to the United States. Maria became a U.S. citizen. Her three children by Georg were thus also citizens. The five stepdaughters also applied for and received citizenship. The two stepsons became citizens by virtue of their service during the war.
The Trapp Family Choir became a very popular singing group in Europe during the mid-thirties. After moving to the United States, they changed the name to Trapp Family Singers and toured the world from their home base in Vermont.
Maria von Trapp 1905 - 1987 RIP
*Autobiography of Maria von Trapp, 1949