Trofimoff Scarves (France)

After living hand-to-mouth and sleeping in parks hiding from the French police, the boys, Shurik and George, experienced the first tastes of capitalism. Their presentation of their scarfs and ties at the Pathe film studios was so popular with the employees there, they quickly sold almost all they had. Within an hour-and-a half, they had sold everything except a couple of foulards and a tie.

Then, real success presented itself. An English lady, a movie star “in the making” who passed by just as the boys were selling out, stopped to ask them some questions. She wanted to know if they could reproduce caricatures of members of her group with their original signatures on silk scarfs with a background of some of the scenes of the movie, which was called “The Hall Of Mirrors.”

A deal was struck, the actress had the right to pre-approve or reject the work. She would pay for the amount of silk necessary to produce 150 scarfs, and the boys had to guarantee delivery within 60 days. In the end, “The Hall Of Mirrors” scarfs were hugely popular. Shurik, George’s friend, went on to be hired by Pathe studios as assistant painter of movie sets. George continued working with the Friends to acquire his visa and passage to the United States.

I write of George Trofimoff’s life and the Florida jury trial that destroyed him in my book:  “Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranking military officer convicted of spying”

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