Young George Trofimoff had never experienced luxury. Growing up in his foster home in the Russian emigre enclave of Berlin, he was well cared for and was raised in a good environment. That is not to say there was an excess of goods, and, as World War II progressed, there were less and less.
After the War, in Paris, when George had received his visa to the U.S., the shipping company dock workers went on strike just as he arrived at the port in LeHavre. The shipping company responded to the strike by flying the America-bound passengers by commercial airline to La Guardia International airport in New York.
Leaving Montparnasse, George boarded a two-engine plane of Air France. He was 16-years old and had never flown in a plane. That flight took less than two hours to Amsterdam, where there would be a 16-hour layover. To George’s surprise, the passengers upon de-planing were escorted to a VIP waiting lounge.
At first, George felt totally out-of-place and inhibited. This place was luxurious, and he could tell that it was reserved for important people. As he watched the other passengers settle in and partake of the offerings, he became more comfortable. Wide-eyed and eager, he enjoyed tasty hor d’oeuvres, several types of soups, and even filet mignon. This was all served with a choice of wines and drinks in between.
George could not believe his good fortune. As he boarded the KLM Royal Dutch airline “Super Constellation” after the layover, he found in-flight beautiful ladies serving even more. It was all overwhelming. He wondered if this kind of bounty was just the way it was in America.
I write of George’s life and the trial that destroyed his life 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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