MAX: Georg, this is for Austria.
CAPTAIN VON TRAPP: For Austria? There is no Austria!
MAX: But the Anschluss happened peacefully. Let's at least be grateful for that.
VON TRAPP: Grateful? You know, Max, sometimes I don't believe I know you.
The annexation of Austria was one of the first steps in a world war that tore Europe apart and resulted in the deaths of about sixty million people (source). Is the film suggesting that it was people like Max, who advocated just going along and not making waves, who allowed the situation to snowball into the global catastrophe that it became?
And here's a heretical idea: maybe the captain wasn't so brave, after all. He fled. He could have stayed and joined the Austrian resistance, small as it was. But we'll give him a break. He had seven kids, and he saw the political situation at home as hopeless. The captain knew he'd be arrested and his family threatened.