Part 44, Chapter 567
Chapter Five Hundred Sixty-Seven


18th September 1946

Wunsdorf-Zossen

It was the final big exercise before the Regiment began the preparations for winter and Hans was acting like he simply didn’t care. Since he’d returned from Staff School in August he’d been in charge of the training which he understood was a typical move. Since then he’d followed the dictates of the CO, XO and Operations Officer. He knew most of the people involved and understood that they knew how to do their jobs without undue influence. This week however things were very different since he’d had some sort of family business to deal with on Monday morning.

Since Monday afternoon Hans had been uncharacteristically angry and intolerant of slacking or grab ass. Normally he was easy going but not this week. Soren Yount was starting to wonder what was going on after he had lit into Jost Schultz regarding his role in the practice of setting up a defensive perimeter.

“Not that I don’t think Jost needs a swift kick in ass every once in a while, but you just threatened to bust him down to the rank he thinks should be doing the work if he didn’t start chipping in to you're satisfaction” Soren said, “That was a bit harsh, mind telling me what’s going on.”

Hans looked at Soren. He was overstepping his bounds as a Spear, but at the same time he’d been a solid friend of Hans for the last decade.

“Shit at home” Hans said flatly.

“I take it that the honeymoon is over” Soren replied.

“I’m starting to wonder if there was ever a honeymoon at all.”

“That bad?” Soren asked.

Hans sighed, “Kat’s perspective Mother-in-Law was in town last week and while we were in Berlin dealing with that Helene starts feeling sick and was throwing up all last week.”

“So, your wife was sick” Soren said, “No big deal, she’ll get better.”

“You’d think so” Hans said, “Then Monday morning she decides that we need to go to her Doctor in Berlin to find out what’s going on and the Doctor tells her that it was probably gastroenteritis and she bursts into…”

“Gastro what?” Soren asked.

“It was something she ate, food poisoning” Hans said as Soren nodded, that much he understood. “As soon as the Doctor said that Helene bursts into tears. It turns out that she’d been trying to get pregnant, but the Doctor says that had been one of first things she ruled out.”

“Really, this Doctor is a woman?”

Of all the things that Soren could have taken away from what Hans had just said.

“Yes” Hans replied, “But it turns out that Helene thought she had the next decade planned out and I was just along for the ride.”

“She’s a General’s daughter” Soren said, “That sort of comes with the territory.”

Soren didn’t realize the half of it. Helene had this perfect life planned and a timetable in her mind. The bothersome part was that life was going to inevitably collide with her plans. Hans was still too junior an Officer to just be able leave Helene in Wunsdorf if he should be called away for an extended period of time. She didn’t exactly have a career and children arriving would complicate matters further. For all her planning Helene didn’t seem able to think things through. They had argued about that all the way home and Hans had slept on the couch for the last couple nights. Hans knew that they would eventually make up, but he wished that she was more forthcoming about things that affected both of them. He remembered how the marriage “proposal” had played out, while he figured that was the only that they could have gotten around Graf von Richthofen, it should have been a warning about how Helene worked.

“It was fun though, wasn’t it?” Soren asked.

“What was?” Hans replied.

“You know”

Hans didn’t bother to conceal his annoyance regarding that question. Except it had been fun and he didn’t know what he was going to do about Helene.


Berlin

It took about thirty seconds for Helene to learn that Kat was not in the least bit sympathetic to her problems and that didn’t make her feel any better about her situation.

“He was going to figure out how unbelievably manipulative you can be sooner or later” Kat said. That was both ironic and damning considering what Kat had been doing for the last several years.

“You’re taking his side?” Helene replied.

“No, because there is no side to take, you are irrevocably wrong this time” Kat said, “Why didn’t you try to talk with Hans first? An honest answer please”

That resulted in a long pause.

“Because he might have not given an answer” Helene said, “He would have said, let’s think about it and it would be months before any decisions get made if ever and my life is slipping by.”

“So, you tried to make it so that the choice would already be made?” Kat asked, “Because you got scared.”

“I didn’t say I was scared.”

“You forget, I know you” Kat said, “You were scared your father would forbid your marriage and look what you did. This is no different.”

“You are saying that I completely screwed things up?”

“No, I think you made one bad choice and it was the wrong thing for you to have done” Kat said, “You need to start including Hans if it affects him too and he might just forgive you if you tell him the truth, that it was fear.”

“That’s what Doctor Tangeman said” Helene replied.

“Are you listening?” Kat asked.


New York City, New York

“Sighting the heightened racial tensions, the owners voted once again against integration of Major League Baseball” The Anchor of WCBS read into the microphone before flipping to the next type written sheet of paper, “In business, today IBM issued a profit warning suggesting that earnings will not meet investor’s expectations due to increased international competition and a softening of demand…
 
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"Increased racial tension" as a reason for NOT integrating is going to come back and bite someone hard. I wouldn't be surprised if the owners have a BLAST at some future event.

Of course, if word gets out that one or more owners voted to integrate, that one might get a visit from the KKK.

I'd expect that, sooner or later, a bunch of rednecks will decide to "Put them in their place" by a massive retaliation. Things are likely to get even messier. I can also see someone breaking into a police station to get "The n*****" and lynch him, rather than let it go to trial.

This is an area where Hoover can accomplish something, or make it worse.
 
Great update(s) PM as usual. (Problem with typing this on my laptop without connection and then posting when I'm in range :) )
I really like the growth here of both characters and background.

EWilanO wrote:
Oh man, the OSS really needs a map and a floodlight to find its way out of a paper bag

No, not really and it's getting better it would seem though it lacks funding and support. "Mike Smith" isn't a really high-level functionary but he seems to reflect the 'average' attitude and competence of the OSS at this point. I'm betting the main issue is it is very much a tertiary at best agency in ranking for support and funding despite being more on the 'front lines' than either the FBI or Military Intelligence Services.

Right now the issue is those higher up than him still haven't tripped to the fact that the world has changed or how to deal with it. He's very correct that "someone" should have recruited, not harassed the "Gas Station Attendant". On the other hand that may be exactly what initially happened and the GSA, (PM did you mean to toss that out there? https://www.gsa.gov/ :) ) may not have responded well, (aka more loyal to his 'war buddies' than the US Government, go figure) which is why he was 'harassed' in the first place as "subtle" describes neither the FBI or DoJ TTL.

Thing is WHY is he being "harassed" by the FBI and DoJ specifically as it would indicate an "internal" US matter of, supposedly, of some criminal manner? Granted it could be just a throw-away 'fluff' piece to show the rising tensions, but I suspect it's more that the Dewey Administration has tasked the FBI with 'rooting out' German "subversion" of the US and all that implies. (Aka we're looking at the HUAC, {House Un-American Activities} committee coming on-line soon {Joe McCarthy may have issues TTL as he's got a German mother and is from an area with a high percentage of Germans in its background so he may not get elected in 1947 as per OTL, heck he may actually be an engineer rather than a lawyer TTL}

Which given who's 'running' the FBI is going to be an epic failure on so many levels....

I'm kind of concerned at the lack of penetration hinted at in this pose by other nations, "Jerry knew he was there and was feeding him misinformation", sure but there ARE "opposition" groups around and you can always find people who don't 'agree' with the system who while not actively 'disloyal' are willing to bend a sympathetic ear on differing viewpoints to any current situation. Again I can see this as an issue for the US because as the 'official' foreign intelligence arm the OSS is vastly under-funded/supported TTL but neither the French nor British should have this issue to the extent they do.

Randy
 
Sir Omega wrote:
Doug (Douglas?) probably knows enough about Kat and (at least in general lines) the various people and organizations who raised her, who are related to her, who trained her, who support her, who are indebted to her, hell, even people who would love to have Kat consider them with something above mild dislike, to know that there is literally no chance for him to escape without retribution, going from mild (a few beatings and broken bones) to severe (being made a -somehow- living example) if he does anything of the kind.

Douglas is in no danger of doing that as he obviously is in love and knows Kat well enough to fully understand what he's getting into. Considering he's a bit of a "Mommy's Boy" initially and feels serious enough to stand up to same in Kat's defense says a lot :)

No, the issue is the OTHER part you didn't bold and people are ignoring:
"If something happened to you or you betray her trust, it would devastate her in a way that she would probably never come back from."

THIS dear friends is where anything truly terrible will come from because there are STILL people out there in TTL who would be willing to see the world BURN "just" to see Kat hurt. Want to see a truly apocalyptic scenario? "Mr. Smith" accidently runs Doug down a couple days before the wedding...A true "accident" no less that NO ONE will believe and the US will burn for it :)

Sunshine-and-Rainbows scenario? Ian and "Mr. Smith" (and really how is anyone not seeing that being Brad Pitt now that I keep writing it? Y'all are welcome :) ) foil an attempted murder of Doug a shortly before the wedding by a significantly disgruntled ex-NKVD fanatic(s) and promptly they, (and Doug) show up just in time for the wedding sporting black eyes and signed eyebrows... There's a story Kat will let Ian tell :)

Randy
 
"Increased racial tension" as a reason for NOT integrating is going to come back and bite someone hard. I wouldn't be surprised if the owners have a BLAST at some future event.

Of course, if word gets out that one or more owners voted to integrate, that one might get a visit from the KKK.

I'd expect that, sooner or later, a bunch of rednecks will decide to "Put them in their place" by a massive retaliation. Things are likely to get even messier. I can also see someone breaking into a police station to get "The n*****" and lynch him, rather than let it go to trial.

This is an area where Hoover can accomplish something, or make it worse.

Mobs "breaking into" police stations or jails to drag prisoners out for lynching or burning to death was rather routine, so much so that the local papers publicised the upcoming events and thousands gathered to watch. Commemorative picture postcards were printed and sent through the mails without comment.

Hoover can't do anything because no Federal laws were being broken because anti-lynching legislation was voted down in Congress and I'm not sure any such laws would withstand the lawsuits that would inevitably make it to the Supreme Court.
 
How is the USA going to react if/when Germany launches a satellite? Whilst not having the same opponent/enemy/bogeyman now that there is no longer a Soviet Union to direct it's attention against being in second place in a race they haven't even started training for will not go down well. I assume Werner von Braun is one of those working on the German program, they will get there eventually. With no cold war pissing contest ( pardon the language ) there is no reason for a crash program to get a man into space. Germany ITTL has already show the effectiveness of missile delivered munitions so logically their priorities are improving range and accuracy, scientific research and discovery is a side benefit.

They will see such a 'stunt' as pretty much that, a stunt. Don't forget they are not going to be 'indoctrinated' TTL with either the concept they are the most technologically advanced nation on Earth nor that they are facing a nation of "tractor builders" in a game of national/systematic survival. In addition they won't have been 'prepped' by the like of Von Braun, Colliers and Disney into the assumption that they are 'destined' to be first in all areas of technology like space. A small lump of metal whizzing by overhead for the most part will be taken as a PERFECT example of Germans being Germans and using "technology" in a manner that benefits no one directly but sure makes THEM happy...

There will be "people" in charge who "get" the point but that won't be a majority of the American public fully understand that "space" is Flash Gordon or Buck Rodgers and has little impact on their daily lives. Yet. It will of course light a fire under the collective keesters of those who've been dragging their feet but once given a shove they will harness American industry and push forward. The 'fun' part is it is still highly likely that America develops solid-propellant missiles first and fastest BECAUSE Von Braun stays in Germany and therefore 'leads' the European direction. Parson's gets the credit OTL but really there were a number of chemical companies hot on the trail of double-base propellant where as it wasn't really on anyone's radar in the rest of the world as of yet. "The Math" was telling everyone that liquids would always have a better efficiency than solid propellant, and as PM pointed out of course that same "math" showed Liquid Hydrogen was king even if it was quickly obvious that it had little operational usage from a military perspective.

There's also the question of if those in charge in Germany will be willing to put up with the cost for so little (direct) return at the moment. PM has painted himself into a corner here because the "logic" of long-range missiles simply isn't there TTL for the Germans. They have a massive Fleet and Air Power and the US is frankly no "real" danger to them as it stands and has no way to stop a strategic bombing efforts and no way to respond effectively. And it's going to stay that way as, quite obviously they don't have a rocket program on par with the Germans. No one does. So really Von Braun is going to 'maybe' get a Redstone/Jupiter equivalent as the "enemy" still remains Britain and France who ARE going to push ahead with both atomic bomb and rocket programs by necessity. Spending money to mount even 'simple' upper stages needed to put a payload into orbit is going to be hard to justify as they already have more advanced knowledge of reentry shapes and process' than OTL and there's no need to develop such for TTL at this point. TTL's "space" effort is going to be limited in both budget and scope because it's not very useful at this particular point BECAUSE there is no 'race' to be first.

Von Braun is essentially working in a vacuum, (pardon the pun) and has little or no 'priority' to pursue the developments he wants, (space travel) and barely any priority to develop more powerful rockets. Which seems to be both going not-so-well AND he's chasing hydrogen as a propellant.

Germany, not the US is the one TTL being set up for a 'sputnik' type shock, which I think would be a wonderful twist for PM to pull but it's HIS TL :)

Randy
 
Mobs "breaking into" police stations or jails to drag prisoners out for lynching or burning to death was rather routine, so much so that the local papers publicised the upcoming events and thousands gathered to watch. Commemorative picture postcards were printed and sent through the mails without comment.

Hoover can't do anything because no Federal laws were being broken because anti-lynching legislation was voted down in Congress and I'm not sure any such laws would withstand the lawsuits that would inevitably make it to the Supreme Court.
Except at this point there's bound to be a fair bit of mounting pression, internationally.
 
Mobs "breaking into" police stations or jails to drag prisoners out for lynching or burning to death was rather routine, so much so that the local papers publicised the upcoming events and thousands gathered to watch. Commemorative picture postcards were printed and sent through the mails without comment.

Hoover can't do anything because no Federal laws were being broken because anti-lynching legislation was voted down in Congress and I'm not sure any such laws would withstand the lawsuits that would inevitably make it to the Supreme Court.

It becomes Hoover's jurisdiction the first time a lynch mob crosses state lines, OR if the suspect is in federal custody, but people are so incensed that they break into a Federal facility.
 
Mobs "breaking into" police stations or jails to drag prisoners out for lynching or burning to death was rather routine, so much so that the local papers publicised the upcoming events and thousands gathered to watch. Commemorative picture postcards were printed and sent through the mails without comment.

Hoover can't do anything because no Federal laws were being broken because anti-lynching legislation was voted down in Congress and I'm not sure any such laws would withstand the lawsuits that would inevitably make it to the Supreme Court.

Except at this point there's bound to be a fair bit of mounting pression, internationally.

There was. Enough OTL that by the mid-to-late-30s the East could no longer ignore that such shenanigans were taking place in nominally "Northern" states of the mid-west and that the Klan was becoming a political power. Even with events TTL I suspect most 'overt' abuses have ramp-ed down, (frankly even without WWII by the late 30s the KKK was loosing support because they didn't really have any solution to the problems OTHER than blaming Negros and immigrants and since THAT wasn't actually helping the problem...) because in general even if the Negro's are "fighting-back" unless they are targeting random groups of people in the mid-west anywhere outside the Deep South, NOT working together isn't getting anywhere and overt action is just disturbing peoples lives.

Part of the reason there wasn't as much 'push-back' OTL was this international pressure, (note that embarrassing the US Government internationally is always a 'good' way to get your point across, still works today) and answering violence with violence reduced that pressure. The "other" obvious reason of course was lack of numbers and actual 'power' with which to base an effective response which PM has shown is not the case TTL.

TTL fewer people are focused on the US, (with other concerns world-wide) and the fact that unlike OTL the "Negro's" seem to be fighting back. In addition keep in mind that 'raceism' was very common and nothing TTL has really changed that internationally so in point of fact there is probably a lot of oppressed groups, (think India or some of the Asian colonial holdings) that are going to take heed of the push-back and ramp up their own efforts. I suspect Gandhi is going to get a lot less support TTL and both British and French authorities are going to be quicker to use 'force' as an option since they didn't have the same 'distraction' as OTL WWII.

I don't think PM has addressed military integration but by this time it's should be gone even in TTL as the major reasons had nothing to do with politics or racism. The US military prior to WWI WAS actually integrated to a great extent and only "Wilson's Folly", (yes it was called that) of executive ordered segregation, (he ordered it done without process as Commander in Chief) was the driver. By the mid-30s all US military commanders were tired of it and wanted it gone and frankly the Southern Democrats that supported it were loosing ground on the one issue with it they couldn't fight: Economics.

Segregation wasn't working for the Navy, (it wasn't practical for ship-board) and in effect the Army was having to develop, build, and deploy double the equipment and infrastructure for the "white" and "black" units. Frankly OTL WWII delayed the process and TTL there's actually more incentive "despite" the racial tensions because it's something that can be used to show progress" is being made. (Not mentioned of course is its far easier to "keep an eye" on integrated units rather than having large masses of Negro's armed and trained for combat only 'supervised' by a few white officers, which was probably MORE convincing argument to Southern Democrats than the economic argument was)

Randy
 
With the 1946 Mid Terms elections coming up some smart politician is going to campaign on an "Education Gap" between the United States and Germany ( "Germany is producing scientists, the United States is turning out English Majors").

With the continuing segregation of Major League Baseball, this is an opportunity for the Pacific Coast League to make a move into becoming a third major league by signing black players like Jackie Robinson who was from Pasadena.
With television showing up earlier, the need for programming and the difficulty of trans continental transmission, West Coast baseball is a good way to fill that need and the money from the rights could allow for the teams to keep the young players from going to the major leagues.

From what I been over reading ITTL, many of the former Russian women POWs returning from Germany are finding out that they are not wanted at home and they are going back to Germany to work as domestics and farm workers for low wages.

On the situation with our happy couple, Hans is a Major in the Heer and should know better then to get his bride upset, Helene is getting good advice from the expert on male-female relationships, Kat.
 
Mobs "breaking into" police stations or jails to drag prisoners out for lynching or burning to death was rather routine, so much so that the local papers publicised the upcoming events and thousands gathered to watch. Commemorative picture postcards were printed and sent through the mails without comment.

Hoover can't do anything because no Federal laws were being broken because anti-lynching legislation was voted down in Congress and I'm not sure any such laws would withstand the lawsuits that would inevitably make it to the Supreme Court.

Wow, you make it sound like the rest of the country and Congress were just OK with all the lynchings. The anti-lynching movement began in the 1890s and was one of the first causes taken up by the NAACP after their founding in 1909. One of their first big successes was organizing a national boycott of the pro-KKK film Birth of a Nation. Several cities even banned it from being shown! Through out the 1890s the Republican controlled House actually set aside over 30 elections of Southern Democrats, refusing to seat those elected in them because of suppression of Black Voters. By 1900 though the Democrats won control of Congress and it all came to a halt. Despite this, several anti-lynching bills were introduced and some even passed by the House of Representatives starting in 1918 and throughout the 1920s and 30s, but they were always filibustered in the Senate or killed in committee by the Southern Democrats. This is important because Congressional Committees work on a seniority system, and the suppression of Black voters meant that the Southern Democrats controlled all their State political machines, guaranteeing re-election for their leadership and assuring them of the top spots on all the Congressional Committees. The stranglehold that Jim Crow gave to the Democrats on elected offices in the South made it almost impossible to get anything done without the approval of the Solid South. Despite this, the number of lynchings actually declined after the 1920s. Although he was afraid to take on the Southern Democrats, FDR did create a Civil Rights office in the Department of Justice and lynchers were arrested and charged with Civil rights violations. The first conviction wasn't until 1946.

I've really bit my tongue in this Time Line in the blatant Anti-American bias because the rest of it is pretty good. I really enjoy the story threads through the generations but have come to hate any chapter that shows "those bumbling hicks in the USA just stumbling along." It's more than just the Civil Rights stuff. This assumption that the US was behind in the sciences and technology before WW2 and that without the benevolence of the Europeans fleeing the Nazis they would have been lost is just wrong. Couple this with suddenly hyper-competent German Intelligence services really pushes my suspension of disbelief. The same or similar international tensions that existed in OTL 1930s exists ITL, yet the USA seemingly stays fat and happy in isolation? I just don't buy it.
 
It's not so much anti-Amercan bias, as not running the full on Ameri-wank that OTL was from about 1940 through to the late 1990's.
 
Wow, you make it sound like the rest of the country and Congress were just OK with all the lynchings. The anti-lynching movement began in the 1890s and was one of the first causes taken up by the NAACP after their founding in 1909. One of their first big successes was organizing a national boycott of the pro-KKK film Birth of a Nation. Several cities even banned it from being shown! Through out the 1890s the Republican controlled House actually set aside over 30 elections of Southern Democrats, refusing to seat those elected in them because of suppression of Black Voters. By 1900 though the Democrats won control of Congress and it all came to a halt. Despite this, several anti-lynching bills were introduced and some even passed by the House of Representatives starting in 1918 and throughout the 1920s and 30s, but they were always filibustered in the Senate or killed in committee by the Southern Democrats. This is important because Congressional Committees work on a seniority system, and the suppression of Black voters meant that the Southern Democrats controlled all their State political machines, guaranteeing re-election for their leadership and assuring them of the top spots on all the Congressional Committees. The stranglehold that Jim Crow gave to the Democrats on elected offices in the South made it almost impossible to get anything done without the approval of the Solid South. Despite this, the number of lynchings actually declined after the 1920s. Although he was afraid to take on the Southern Democrats, FDR did create a Civil Rights office in the Department of Justice and lynchers were arrested and charged with Civil rights violations. The first conviction wasn't until 1946.

I've really bit my tongue in this Time Line in the blatant Anti-American bias because the rest of it is pretty good. I really enjoy the story threads through the generations but have come to hate any chapter that shows "those bumbling hicks in the USA just stumbling along." It's more than just the Civil Rights stuff. This assumption that the US was behind in the sciences and technology before WW2 and that without the benevolence of the Europeans fleeing the Nazis they would have been lost is just wrong. Couple this with suddenly hyper-competent German Intelligence services really pushes my suspension of disbelief. The same or similar international tensions that existed in OTL 1930s exists ITL, yet the USA seemingly stays fat and happy in isolation? I just don't buy it.

I think it is not so much Anti-American as it is German Centered. The view the German Public has of America in this Timeline is very fragmented and biased. Only the very big negative news gets global attention, the other 99,99% of good news is not reported.

Mayby or writer has an kind of South-Africa ending for us, it has to get really bad before it gets better (King = Mandela).
 
I think socially, it is somewhat of an Ameri-screw, but monetarily, this America is filthy, filthy rich from not having fought WWII but having heavily supplied both sides and without the economic damage that comes from making and deploying your own war machines (if someone else breaks them, then you're happy to supply a replacement - if someone shoots up your own tank, well, it hurts you to have to replace it). What the real implication of this is that Germany especially likely is going through a painful inflationary cycle similar to that the US faced in the 1940s while the US is not. While the German economy is geared into position for civilian production at the highest levels, the US economy is TTL going to be like a mega-mega-wanked and diversified Sweden and Switzerland rolled into one. I can't even imagine how strong the dollar must be TTL.

OTL, there was very much a sense that the US was the last man standing economically in that it was a powerhouse in absolute terms but also in relative terms because literally every other rival was either pounded into nothing (Germany and Japan, with Japan being a piss-poor small fry) or bled white (Britain and France). Even for the Soviets, it was more a function of enormous plunder and being relatively stronger than other nations. TTL, the Soviets are gone and replaced by a Russia no one quite trusts. Japan's likely in better shape than OTL. Britain is relatively stronger, but likely still to lose most of the Empire. Same with France.

Something else to consider is that we're only in 1945 or 1946. America could go into full-blown Irish Troubles or it could take a very different reform route. The other thing is that Peabody consistently uses the storytelling device of the incomplete and limited knowledge multiple narrator approach. So we really only know a broad picture that likely misses a lot of surprises.
 
Well, integration of Major League Baseball didn't happen until 1947 in OTL according to Wikipedia. Apparently one reason that the Baseball commissioner Happy Chandler gave for letting Jackie Robinson break the color line was that "He could not in good conscience tell black players they could not play with white players when they had fought alongside them in World War II." Obviously that would not be true in this timeline.

Regarding IBM. they were more punch-card sorting then actual real computers back in those days and they missed out on a lucrative contract with the German Government doing a census and Helping the Nazis with the logistics of the whole holocaust thing. And later applied some of the experience gained with that by helping with the Japanese interment.

It looks like they won't get the opportunity to do anything like this in this timeline. No war with Japan, no reason to track communists with communism being mostly dead and African Americans are easy enough to visually identify to not need expensive census and mountains of punch cards to keep track of. Maybe they will start adding German ancestry or catholic religion as things to explicitly keep track of in a future census for reason.
 
Part 44, Chapter 568
Chapter Five Hundred Sixty-Eight


25th September 1946

Berlin

It was understandable that Gianna was upset. To her it felt as if her adopted family was falling apart when she really didn’t have anything to worry about. Peter had noticed a long-time pattern here. It seemed like this particular family went through a massive crisis of some kind, sometime in autumn or early winter for as long as Peter had followed them. Kat had been in this very office just two days earlier sobbing about how she “Couldn’t live this way anymore” after she had a particularly difficult weekend. Kat was having her usual problems regarding affection. Peter had never met someone who wanted to love and be loved more but at the same time that was in direct conflict with a lifetime’s conditioning and trauma to never let her guard down. The result was that Kat was at war with herself.

It was also hardly a surprise that Hans and Helene were having difficulties. Helene had a domineering and conservative father who had fallen back on tradition in the face of a rapidly changing world. She had found herself in a similar situation and reacted in much the same way. The difference was that rather than retreating to a rural estate, she had married a man much like her father in his youth and tried to create a safe, perfect life for herself. Needless to say, it hadn’t worked out for Helene.

Gianna, as Peter was learning, was particularly sensitive to turmoil within her family. “I don’t want it to be like when Alexei died” Gianna said. That was interesting, Gianna hadn’t talked about that portion of her life before. She would have been too young to have remembered two of her aunts had died years earlier. Which meant that 1936 would have been particularly formative for her, that year she lost three members of her family within a few months, surpassed only by the events a few years later.

“You were what, 7 or 8 when that happened?” Peter asked.

“Yes” Gianna said, “Alexei could hardly walk and was in excruciating pain, the Doctor couldn’t give him anything that required injections or thinned his blood because that alone could have killed him. It was terrible.”

“What eventually did happen?” Peter asked.

“I don’t know, he just died” Gianna replied, “Everyone thinks that there must have been some sort of big build up or something but all that happened was that I woke up one morning and my uncle was gone. We had a funeral a day later, that was all.”

“What of your Grandparents?” Peter asked.

“They just sort of gave up after that.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s not a medical term but you could say that they died from heartbreak” Gianna said, “They sort of fell in on themselves, my Grandfather first that autumn and my Grandmother a few months later. I remember it was snowing when they buried her.”

“What happened after that?” Peter asked.

“We had to keep going but there were a few changes” Gianna replied, “My Mother decided that she was tired of going through the motions of what was expected of her and she quit.”

“What do you mean by quit?”

“She was tired of being royalty, and everything that came with it” Gianna said, “She also had a spiritual crisis as well.”

“That’s a bit of a surprise considering what the Russian Orthodox Church is doing” Peter said, “The whole passion bearer thing.”

“What a sick joke” Gianna said, “That was one of the things she was tired of going through the motions of. What sort of God allows so much suffering to no reason is what she said.”

Peter could understand that. It was the truth that Gianna wouldn’t dare mention in public. The current Russian Government and the Russian Orthodox Church were selling the narrative that the Romanovs had been paragons of the faith as they had been persecuted by the Bolsheviks long after their fall from power. What Gianna said contradicted that.

“Do you share that sentiment?”

“It’s hard not to” Gianna said, “In the end, the only thing my Mother cared enough to try to save was me.”


Washington D.C.

“Do you have an opinion regarding the economy, Mr. Senator?” The reporter asked.

“Yes” Truman said, “I’d like to talk to a one-armed economist for a change.”

That resulted in a round of laughter. But it hid the larger truth that no one knew what was going to happen. On one hand this could happen, on the other hand…

It was a sector of the economy that no one had thought too much about. International Business Machines, a corporation that made collator machines and punch card readers. A week earlier they had issued a warning that they would fail to meet profit expectations for the year and the New York Stock Exchange had gone completely haywire.

The result was that the US Senate and House found themselves scrambling to come up with a legislative package that would head off the market panic that seemed to be brewing. The US Government was in completely unknown territory here. They had worked to put in place safeguards during the Great Depression to prevent another crash like the one in 1929 but that wasn’t what concerned Truman. It was the Atlantic rebound that he’d feared would happen once the war ended. The US Senate had spent the last week debating the response. The best idea so far was that they take advantage of the currency reserves that had built up during the war to build up the national infrastructure and provide jobs during the coming recession that many, including Harry Truman, felt was now inevitable.

“Do you have a response for the President’s statement, Sir!” A different reporter asked.

“No comment” Truman said. He didn’t feel like picking a fight today.

Thomas Dewey had entered the debate with proposals that might as well have come straight from the mouth of Calvin Coolidge and a veto threat. That had landed with a thud in Congress.
 
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President Dewey is torn between the moderate/liberal Republicans and conservative Republicans and can not get his promises fulfilled, IOTL Dewey was pro spending on infrastructure but here ITTL he can't make deals with anyone without stepping in it.

His Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles and his brother, Allen Dulles are probably trying to destabilize Pro German governments in Latin America and install Pro American regimes and this is causing a bunch of headaches in German-American diplomatic relations.
 
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