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Remembering 1946-1950

Did you or someone you know help or receive aid from the family's post-WWII relief effort?  ​ We'd like to hear from you!

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FAMILY HISTORY: Trapp Family Austrian Relief, Inc.

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WWII Austrian Relief
After World War II, the von Trapp family lead the United States's largest private effort to send aid to war-torn Austria.

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1946-1950
After WWII came to a close, the von Trapp family was living in the United States. The family felt deeply pained for those living in war-torn Austria. To help those they knew, the family sent clothes and supply packages to Georg's old naval officers. 

Soon thereafter, the family received a plea for help from  Major General Harry J. Collins (U.S. 42nd Rainbow Division leader) who was stationed in Austria, stating starvation was rampant, with citizens facing life and death. In response, the family collected and donated the proceeds from their concert souvenir sales to send aid to Austria. 

By January 1947, the family had sent 3,000 meals through the organization CARE to Salzburg, Austria. The same month they officially established the Trapp Family Austrian Relief, Inc. to facilitate their ongoing efforts. Baron Captain Georg von Trapp was the First Chairman, Baroness Maria Augusta Kutschera von Trapp was Second Chairman, Reverand Dr. Franz Wasner was Treasurer, and Baroness Johanna von Trapp was Secretary.


These relief efforts were some of Georg's last acts, as he passed away in May, 1947. Over the next four years, the family continued collecting clothing and food at their concerts and donated their souvenir sales to the cause, in total sending 275,000 pounds of aid. 


Awards Received in Recognition of the Trapp Family Austrian Relief Inc.'s Efforts:


  • 1949: Benemerenti Medal (from Pope Pius XII), awarded to Baroness Maria Kutschera von Trapp on behalf of the family
  • 1952: Dame of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre (from Vatican-Pope Pius XII), awarded to Baroness Maria Kutschera von Trapp 
  • 1993: CARE International Award, Annual Board Meeting, awarded to Baroness Johanna von Trapp
  • 2007: Egon Ranshofen-Wertheimer Award, accepted by Elizabeth von Trapp Walker, daughter of Baron Rupert von Trapp

 Celebrating the von Trapp musicians who inspired the musical The Sound of Music