When in Salzburg, I was surprised to learn that actually not too many Austrian people know about "The Sound of Music". Some Austrian colleagues never heard the song "Edelweiss". In fact, Wikipedia states that Austrians avoided the musical for a long time. The only reason I can think of is that the musical is set in the time around the 1938 Anschluss. At that time, a majority of the Austrian people agreed to the annexation.

So here I want to ask, what is the current general opinion in Austria about the Anschluss? Guilty conscience? Being forced to go to the war? Or it was a right choice at that time only if they had won the war?

  • 1
    if you know german this will help de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opferthese – mart Oct 31 '16 at 12:33
  • 2
    @Opferthese, what's wrong with the article in English: Victim theory? – Brasidas Oct 31 '16 at 12:50
  • 2
    I remember seeing something on the news about an anniversary of the Anschluss a few years ago. In the Austrian parliament, 'to set against the foolish jubilation of this day many years ago', they held a minute of silence. – Ne Mo Oct 31 '16 at 12:51
  • 2
    @fdb: "Sound of Music" was set against the backdrop of the Anschluss. As such, it was an embarassment to Austrians, which is why they don't want to "know" about it. Also, in World War II, 30% of Anglo-American shipping losses in the Atlantic were inflicted by 30 World War I veteran submarine captains (out of 1200 total). Sound of Music was based on a true story about whether or not Captain Georg von Trapp would be the 31st. history.stackexchange.com/questions/8561/… – Tom Au Oct 31 '16 at 18:33
  • 1
    Maybe Austrians would rather listen to their own music (Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler...) rather than some sentimental American musical. – fdb Nov 1 '16 at 0:05

Your question is like asking whether Americans like Trump. The answer – in both cases – is: some do and some do not. A part of the Austrian population – disturbingly, a rather large part – think that Hitler was a fine chap and that the conquest of Austria by Germany was just marvellous. Others, perhaps still the majority, think that the “Anschluss” was a national catastrophe. As I wrote in the comments, all of this has nothing to do with “The Sound of Music”. In general, Austrians are not impressed by that movie. That has nothing to do with any supposedly political content of the film, but with the fact that it invokes a stereotyped, sentimentalised picture of Austria; it is in fact what in German is so nicely called Kitsch.

The last time I was in Salzburg a rather tedious English lady impressed on me that I should visit the Trapp family villa. I told her that I would rather pay my homage at Mozart’s birthplace.

  • 1
    "A part of the Austrian population – disturbingly, a rather large part – think that Hitler was a fine chap and that the conquest of Austria by Germany was just marvellous." What are your sources? – Bernard Masse Nov 1 '16 at 23:53
  • @BernardMasse. For example: derstandard.at/1362107918471/… – fdb Nov 2 '16 at 0:14
  • The Sound Music is important because it is a true story of how one man, Captain Georg von Trapp (and his large family) "voted with his feet" against the Anschluss and left Austria for the Free World when he could have taken the "easy way" and become a very high-ranking Nazi. – Tom Au Nov 2 '16 at 0:14
  • @fdb The linked articel does not say that a large part is pro-Hitler. The core statements of the article are a) that many people believe that some other people would vote for the Nsdap (if it would still exist). In short, Austria knows that there are some neo-nazis, but nothing says that it is the majority. Quite the opposite, there's a ban on many Ns-related things , and I never heard of any notable demands to change that. – deviantfan Jan 25 '17 at 23:41
  • Second core statement of the article: b) Some people say that not everything durings Hitlers time was bad. Well, I wasn't there, but I can't imagine that that every single new law etc. was 100% disadvantage for everyone in Austria. So, ... (no, this does not mean that the overall situation was good) – deviantfan Jan 25 '17 at 23:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.