It had been five years since George had seen his Dad, as the War had separated them in the most tragic circumstances. Now, he had arrived in Germany. He telegraphed his Dad that he was coming for Christmas on the 24th. He worried that his Dad might have a heart attack if, after all this time, suddenly here was his son, standing at his front door.
George arrived on the train at the outskirts of the little village of Dieringhausen about 7:30 on Christmas Eve. The railroad station was tiny and with only one dim light. He asked the stationmaster how to get to the address he had written on a piece of paper, that of his father and stepmother. He was informed there was no transportation, no taxis in Dieringhausen. It was time to pick up his large duffel bag filled with PX goodies and the big goose he had purchased from the farmer and start marching.
There were no street lights and no one seemed to be around in the little village. After awhile, he came to a church where a service had just ended. He stopped a man and asked for directions. Did he know a Mr Trofimoff who had a radio repair shop somewhere nearby? Indeed, the man did. As George talked with him, people gathered around. They had not seen an American soldier in uniform. This was the British sector, and this tall American soldier with two large bags was an amusement, but he spoke native German just like they did. It was both unusual and interesting.
Finally, heavy goose and all, George arrived in front of a house with three stories and three bell buttons without names on the entrance door. He could not see any lights and did not want to wake anyone on Christmas Eve, but he started with the top button. Almost immediately, he heard his stepmother’s voice from the top window. George shouted, “This is Goga.” “Who?” she responded. “Goga, your son Goga, from America!” There was a moment of silence. Then, a joyful exclamation of garbled words but simultaneously the sound of running down the steps inside. Not far behind was George’s Dad. There were tears and hugs of joy and everyone talking at the same time. The reunion had occurred and Christmas was on.
I write of George’s life and the trauma of war separating families in my book: Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranked military office convicted of spying.