Practice Logged: 95 hours + 0 minutes
A lot of people think Edelweiss is some kind of Austrian folk song or even their national anthem. It’s not. It’s just a sober tune from “The Sound of Music” and composed by Rodgers & Hammerstein.
If you recall the song and its appearance in the story it is actually something of a patriotic ditty. Captain Georg von Trapp sings it as a kind of ode to Austria, as the then independent nation of Austria was on the verge of the Anschluss. The Nazis had been in power for a bit at this point and as a prelude to war, had begun the process of annexing the country of Austria, a process they would describe as peaceful — the “joining” is how it translates I think — but which was not without fierce nationalist opposition from a small number of people who resisted the rise of the totalitarian state to their north.
If you’ve seen the film you know how it turns out. The Captain gets coerced, heckled, intimidated and eventually harassed by people he once considered friends into accepting the inevitable rise of a dark power across their border. Sinister folks bully him towards the notion of joining into the populist rage that brought Hitler to power and gave control of most of Europe to the dictator to their north. The Captain is eventually forced to choose between joining the Nazis or going to prison… or fleeing, which is what he does and the family is forced to escape over the mountains and as the curtain falls World War II erupts off scene.