George had arrived at his father and stepmother’s apartment in Dieringhausen for a tearful reunion, after several years of separation caused by the War.
Having met at the bottom of the stairs at the front door, the threesome went up three flights. George said nothing but was shocked by the tiny apartment fitted tightly under the roof. Three people lived here. George’s parents and his stepmother’s mother. He saw an old-fashioned coal-burning stove and a faucet that opened only cold water, but there was the feeling of warmth, even a soft coziness.
He couldn’t wait any longer. Out of the sack separate from the duffel bag, he pulled the large goose, butter, and sour cream, all ready for use immediately. Then, from his duffel bag, as his parents’ eyes grew larger and larger, he drew cartons of American cigarettes, pipe tobacco, toilet articles, and even a bottle of cognac. None of these things had been available to them in years. George just kept pulling goods from his large duffel bag. It seemed almost bottomless.
They talked through the night, reminiscing their life in the Russian community in Berlin before the War, and remembering and honoring their White Russian heritage. George idolized his father. It was Christmas, 1949. At last, they were together.
I write of George’s life in my book: Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranking military officer convicted of spying.