In addition, the family actually started their singing career while in Austria, for financial reasons. Captain von Trapp lost most of his fortune in the 1929 financial crash; the family had to let all the servants go and live on one floor of the mansion. It was at this point that they took the family on the road, to keep bread on the table. What is true is that the von Trapps were horrified by the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938. After the Captain was inducted into the German navy, the family left the country. They left quite openly by train instead of dramatically fleeing over the mountains, but hey- it's a great scene.