How plausible is Turtledove's short story "Zigeuner"?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by ZincOxide, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. ZincOxide Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Is it really possible that Hitler could have convinced himself and millions of Germans that Roma and Sinti peoples had been the ones to "stab Germany in the back"?

    For some context (warning: spoilers) -
  2. Escape Zeppelin Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    Last Tuesday
    Sure, I don't see why not. His first anti-Semitic writing was in 1919 so presumably his views were refined during the war. If on the eastern front he comes to see Jews as victims of Marxism rather than proponents then it would certainly undermine his belief in Jewish Bolshevism. Or if an attempt to rally sentiment, the Bolshevists strike first in the propaganda war and accuse Jews of supporting the oppression of the Russian people and being pro-Tzar then it would put the Jews on the opposite side of the political spectrum in the coming decades.
  3. ZincOxide Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    True - I'm just wondering how plausible he could've made his conspiracy theories about Roma/Sinti without looking completely batshit bonkers. It's not like the case of capitalizing on hundred-plus-year-old anti-semitic canards in this alternate world.

    He would've had to "prove" his generalization that one band of Roma stealing supplies from his platoon meant that all of them in Europe were involved in a plan to bring down Germany, and that there might be secret Roma in positions of power allowing this to happen.
  4. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2016
    This timeline never made sense to me. The reason why Hitler's anti-Semitic speeches were so popular was because the Jews had occupied high positions of German society. How? By blending in with the rest of the population. While there were a few Orthodox Jews, German Jews, more or less, blended in with German society and they used this to their advantage, climbing the societal hierarchy into places of importance. A large majority of Jews even fought in the German Army in World War I. The idea that the Jews infiltrated German society and supposedly betrayed the German nation was what made the Nazis so popular and the Jews so hated.

    The gypsies on the other hand? They are historically notorious for refusing to blend into their host country, mostly due to their migratory nature. They maintain their own culture outside of the culture of the host country. Not exactly the type of people who could infiltrate a society, like the Jews supposedly could. Plus, I don't think there were many gypsies in 20th Century Germany, if at all. Gypsies were and in some places, are still reviled as thieves and pickpockets, but that's it. They weren't depicted with the ability of using their connections to the world economy and governments to destroy nations at their whim, a stereotype which turned the German population against the Jews. While it is true that many gypsies were exterminated during the Holocaust, the Jews were always Nazi enemy number one. I don't see how the gypsies could take that spot away from the Jews.

    If Hitler had tried to build the Nazi Party around a hatred of gypsies first and foremost, he would attract some supporters, but the German far right would laugh and consider him a joke for focusing on gypsies and not on the Jews, the 'true enemy' of the German people.
  5. Michel Van Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Aachen, Germany, Europe
    you see that Turtledove is getting old, he was 68 years old as "zigeuner" was publish
    i find his current publish books lacking the worldbuilding or any logical sense in some aspects of plot
    the short Story "Zigeuner" and novel "Through Darkest Europe" are more based on outraging story, instead to have solid Worldbuilding...
  6. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

    Jan 4, 2004
    Isn't the point of the story that Jews were not innately heroic and, being people, might have collaborated with the Third Reich like everyone else?
    CapitalistHippie likes this.