Famous Austrians Who Have Influenced History
The German-speaking country of Austria has an incredibly rich and vibrant history, and to say that its residents—past and present—have made significant contributions to this world would be an understatement. Many famous names that you will undoubtedly recognize have lived in the beautiful country, and just some of them are discussed below.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The famous pianist and composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was born in Salzburg, Austria, on January 27, 1756. He died in Vienna, Austria, on December 5, 1791. He is one of the famous Austrians who significantly influenced and contributed greatly to classical music. He started composing at age 5, went on to play numerous instruments, and was the composer of such famous pieces including Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute). You can currently visit Mozarthaus Vienna where he lived from 1784 until 1787.
The brilliant neurologist and scholar, Sigmund Freud, was the founder of psychoanalysis. You may also recognize the parapraxis—the Freudian Slip—which is named after him. He attended the University of Vienna in 1873, then later worked at Vienna General Hospital, set up a private practice, and became a Professor at the same school at which he studied. After escaping from the Nazis with his wife and daughter in 1938, he died in London the following year. Today, you can visit the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna.
One of the modern famous faces from Austria is Arnold Schwarzenegger who is an actor and former bodybuilder who was also the 38th Governor of California from November 17, 2003 – January 3, 2011. As an actor, he was in numerous movies, most notably the 1984 sci-fi film The Terminator as well as the following sequels. He was born on July 30, 1947, in Thal, Austria, moved to the United States in 1968, and today resides in California.
Maria von Trapp
Recognize the name, Maria von Trapp? We thought you might! Her book—The Story of the Trapp Family Singers—was published in 1949. The film and Broadway musical, The Sound of Music, was based on it. Born as Maria Augusta Kutschera on a train in Vienna, Austria, on January 26, 1905, she later died in Vermont in the United States in 1987. While in Vienna, she attended the State Teachers College for Progressive Education and entered Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg before becoming a tutor to Maria von Trapp. She never became a nun but married Baron Georg von Trapp in 1927 which made her Baroness von Trapp. You can still stay at the Trapp Family Lodge today which was rebuilt in the 80s after a fire.
The aforementioned are just some of the many of the past and present residents of Austria who have not only helped to shape the history of the country but also had a significant impact on the rest of the world in all areas ranging from entertainment and science to music and art. The contributions are vast and are well-worth learning about and getting to know.