I wrote about this before, but Savage is off on the German Nazi “edelweiss” thing again. I can appreciate the pain that his family experienced from the Holocaust, living in New York after his parents fled Russia in the 1920s following the Russian Revolution – but his “history” is just plain wrong.
The movie “The Sound of Music” is the somewhat true story of the von Trapp Family – the movie is where people are mostly likely to have heard of Eidelweiss, but clearly Savage missed the entire point of the movie. The song itself is not authentic – it was written by Rogers and Hammerstein, but the point of the song in the movie could not be more clear.
Georg von Trapp had served in the submarine service for Austria in World War 1. He became a national hero to his country – Austria, not Germany. (Yes, Germany and Austria were allies in WWI, but that has nothing to do with Nazis and Hitler)
When Hitler came to power and annexed Austria, Mr von Trapp refused a commission working for the Nazis. He was too big of a hero within Austria for Hitler and the SS to just arrest him and put him in prison or kill him for refusing a commission in the German military.
The Edelweiss flower is a symbol of Austrian national unity and resistance to the German occupation. It was not a “Nazi symbol” as Michael “Savage” Weiner seems to think and keeps repeating over and over. It was the symbol of the anti-Hitler youth movement, even within Germany
On a personal note, back when I was about 16, I spent the summer working at a cultural resort in Western New York called Chautauqua. Somehow, I got talked into playing the organ in the dining room for background music in the restaurant my sister worked in. A lot of the music that I had access to was movie and Broadway songs – including the songs from Sound of Music.
So I’m playing the organ, and not really all the comfortable doing it – and played Edelweiss. When I had finished playing it, a distinguished looking man sitting near me stood up and started applauding. Just looking at him, it was clear he was Austrian and about the age for someone who would have lived in Austria during the German occupation.
The rest of the room had no idea why, but they joined in with the applause. I was somewhat flustered, since I didn’t really understand what was going on, and was trying to be as invisible as possible.
My feelings about Savage are now at “total and complete disgust”.