Posted by: rbbadger | December 27, 2008

What the von Trapps are up to

The New York Times recently ran a story on the family of Georg Ritter von Trapp and Maria Augusta von Trapp.  The youngest son (not portrayed in the movie), Johannes von Trapp, recently retired from running the famous lodge founded by Maria von Trapp.  The next generation of the von Trapp family has now risen to take over the running of the family business.  Sam and Kristina von Trapp, children of Johannes von Trapp, have now moved back to Vermont and are running the family business.  You can read more about this here.

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A word about Austro-German noble titles:

Generally, if you see the word “von” in between the personal name(s) and the family name, it means that they are of the nobility, something which is now meaningless legally, given that Austria abolished the nobility in 1918 and even the use of such titles is technically illegal for Austrian citizens.  However, some Austrians, such as the conductor Herbert von Karajan continued to use the noble “von”.  Georg Ritter von Trapp was a Ritter, or knight.  The addition of Ritter to his name confirms this.  You also sometimes see other interesting noble variants, such as with the Prince (Fürst) of Liechtenstein, known in German as S.D. Fürst Hans-Adam II. von und zu Liechtenstein.  As Prince of Liechtenstein, he is the sole monarch of a German-speaking country anywhere.

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