Ominous indeed. After the immediate post-war calm and a bit of downtime for everyone, it really feels that a new chapter in TTL's history is about to be written.
 
Possibly the Final Solution to the Negro Problem.

What was it that Jacob's minions weaponized?

The first is so cliché that I'm almost offended that you don't give more credit than that and the second part is that Jacob's people are inventing hacking at the same time they are improving computers.
 
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FBKampfer

Banned
Wouldn't wireless networking be necessary for Germany to do anything practical with that?

I mean I don't see Germany stealthily laying undersea cables and tapping into the war department as anything but ASB.

And they're sure as hell not going to swim over to Montana during a gun duel and plug into her fire control.

You haven't just given computing a kick in the pants, you've strapped it to an A4 and fired the damn thing.
 
Wouldn't wireless transmission be necessary for Germany to do anything with that?

I mean I don't see Germany stealthily laying undersea cables and tapping into the war department as anything but ASB.

I didn't say that it was already in use, just that they have the theories down. When the equivalent of the web comes online internationally in TTL things are going to get very strange indeed.
 
I think what Ephraim may be getting at is the idea of advanced Hollerith/IBM punch tape systems being used for US census of 1950 and forming the basis of government policy towards certain ethnic minorities. Like they did in OTL for the Nazis in 1933.

Only thanks to in part Jacob and the passage of time the technology is far more advanced at this point.

Despite everything that happened in this timeline the idea of concentrating certain restive demographics into camps is far less out there than it was in OTL.

Things may get ugly.
 
The idea to concentrate unwanted people for easier administration is old as dirt.

As for IBM, in this timeline they seems to be a bit behind the curve. And hadn't Adml. Schmidt's little hellions created an internal network out of two former fire control systems?
 
The first is so cliché that I'm almost offended that you don't give more credit than that and the second part is that Jacob's people are inventing hacking at the same time they are improving computers.

I'm sorry I even entertained such a cliché. I can only plead insufficient caffeination. My apologies.
 
One of the butterflies from the United States not participating in the war should be that employer provided health insurance is not as wide spread as it became in OTL, and that could open the door for the Democrats to promise some sort of national health insurance system in the spirit of the New Deal.
Senator Russel was a big supporter of the New Deal and he was in OTL the main force in the Free School Lunch Program and he was unconvinced about U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and he did cautioned President Johnson against getting more involved in the war.
He did authored the "Southern Manifesto" and was a staunch supporter of segregation but he never used racially charged language (like that makes it better) to defend his position.
 
One of the butterflies from the United States not participating in the war should be that employer provided health insurance is not as wide spread as it became in OTL, and that could open the door for the Democrats to promise some sort of national health insurance system in the spirit of the New Deal.
Senator Russel was a big supporter of the New Deal and he was in OTL the main force in the Free School Lunch Program and he was unconvinced about U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and he did cautioned President Johnson against getting more involved in the war.
He did authored the "Southern Manifesto" and was a staunch supporter of segregation but he never used racially charged language (like that makes it better) to defend his position.

Is the US Supreme Court still adamantely conservative? They shot down many of Roosevelt's New Deal bills after they passed Congress and wound getting sued by various business interests.
 
Is the US Supreme Court still adamantely conservative? They shot down many of Roosevelt's New Deal bills after they passed Congress and wound getting sued by various business interests.
Well IOTL after the court packing scheme died, the Supreme Court did stop finding a lot of the New Deal unconstitutional so the butterflies of FDR not running for a third term should have pro New Deal members from Garner (who was economically pro New Deal before being against it because of FDR running for a third term) and more pro business but more socially liberal members from Dewey if he has the same record of appointing judges in New York ITTL.
 
Firesoul wrote:
Rather ominous, does Ephraim fear pogroms in the USA or worse perhaps

Dain wrote:
Ominous indeed. After the immediate post-war calm and a bit of downtime for everyone, it really feels that a new chapter in TTL's history is about to be written.

From the hints gathered in the conversation, ("writing on the wall", "people a 'heartbeat' away from the Presidency" which means: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Russell_Jr., whom we might assume to be a part of the at some level of the "group" that met earlier about taking 'their' nation back, however while he WAS a segregationist he also never defended and in fact condemned violence and race hatred,) and other hints that Ephraim is worried about the 'quality' of those who are close to being in charge in the US. But in context I would assume he's worried about Jews I the US not Negros.

Mkemp wrote:
Possibly the Final Solution to the Negro Problem.

I don't see PM going for that particularly low-hanging and over-used fruit/trope. (Edit: and I see he says so :) ) Culturally the South never wanted to or planned the 'extermination' of the Negro, (or other minorities) populations. They much more simply wanted to ensure those populations would never be either a threat or 'equal' to the White Protestant "majority" (even if not an ACTUAL majority) at any point. The 'lower-races' always had a place as long as they STAYED in place and the very real outlook was that as long as 'poor white' people had someone ELSE to look down on they too could be kept in line. And while any large scale pogrom against Negro's in the US is going to spill over onto the Jewish population it is unlikely to be anything worse than other 'historical' oppression and attacks. Quite possibly less.

Which brings up the question of why Ephraim is worried and about what since, as noted, 'tracking' minorities is an age old thing and having the data on 'computer' while it might make it easier to access isn't going to be that big of change for quite a while.

Mkemp wrote:
What was it that Jacob's minions weaponized?

Peabody-Martin wrote:
the second part is that Jacob's people are inventing hacking at the same time they are improving computers.

Computers are not what I got from Ephraim's assessment of the 'technology' he seemed worried about. Neither when Jacob thinks of 'destroyed buildings in Moscow' does computers spring to mind...

"Jacob didn't have to be told that the technology he had developed had a dark side, there were many destroyed buildings in Moscow that acted as stark representations of that. One of the tasks he had set the people in the Naval Research Lab to was to learn exactly how it could be weaponized and they had come up with things that were far beyond the imagination of most people. Nothing like that existed in America, not yet anyway. What was Ephraim getting at?

Considering America has some of the most advanced research organizations, both inside the government and outside (it's been the implementation rather than the actual research and development that has lagged in TTL) I believe it may in fact be that LAST. (bolded) point that Ephraim is trying to get across to Jacob actually.

Randy
 
Part 50, Chapter 675
Chapter Six Hundred Seventy-Five


13th August 1948

Kiel

It was what Ephraim had come to him about and it was something so blindingly obvious that it had been impossible for even Jacob to see. Information, the collation and dissemination of it on a large scale. In every era before now people were dependent upon local knowledge about who was who and what the local connections were. Now, in large part because of Jacob’s own work, such information could be readily available to anyone willing to wait for a computer to spit it out. It was a potential threat to various sorts of minorities and in the hands of the wrong people a tool of despotism. The major concern that Ephraim had was not that a pogrom on a massive scale might happen but that individuals might be painting themselves into a corner. In America, the Southern faction of the Democratic Party seemed to be doing that with their calls to restore Law and Order. A man named Leo Frank who had been abducted and lynched in the American State of Georgia was at the forefront of Ephraim’s mind. It didn’t take much imagination to see that anti-Semitic violence was always a possibility.

Jacob had not understood what Ephraim expected him to do about it. While Jacob was in a powerful position in the Navy and had the ear of powerful people, that was the extent of what he could offer. That was when Ephraim had surprised him. He said that Jacob needed to be a leader of the Jewish community here in Germany and use those connections of his to help on an international level. It was as close to an apology from his brother that Jacob could ever expect to receive, and Ephraim was correct about this being far bigger than just a squabble between a few brothers. He’d had two days to mull it over and was no closer to an answer.


Cape Town, South Africa

Playing cards was what they did to pass the time, while it was technically against regulations the Brass turned a blind eye so long as there were no real stakes in the games. So, it was matchsticks, one pfennig coins or any number of things of no value. Soren was organizing the games, he was having difficulty getting players for the game because of the date, it being Friday the 13th and all.

“This lot is the most superstitious bunch I’ve dealt with” Jost said, “In Russia you had to make your own luck many of them weren’t there to learn it.”

“Henrik could have had them clamoring to join the game” Soren replied, “Convinced them that today would be the luckiest day of their lives.”

“Henrik would have upped the stakes and taken a cut on the side” Jost replied, “And in the end he turned out to be the least lucky bastard in the entire 2nd Army, sometimes your luck runs out.”

This conversation caught the attention to the Soldaten around them. All of them knew the stories but few remained who’d been there at the time. After the war ended there had been a great deal of turnover in the Heer since then, many of those who had the option to leave and resume their lives had. The Noncommissioned Officers like Soren and Jost generally kept their mouths shut regarding what had happened.

“Getting your brains scrambled in Moscow during the last hours before the ceasefire by shrapnel is tough luck” Soren replied, “But it’s not like there’s a finite supply of it floating around.”

“Perhaps” Jost said, “Perhaps not.”


Berlin

There were days when Gianna was tempted to get on the first flight to Russia so that she could strangle her cousin. Georgy had caused this latest awkward situation and she was having to be careful in how she extricated herself from it. At least she was getting a free lunch out of the deal. Even if that involved sitting in a restaurant as the other patrons looked with curiosity at the uniform of a Senior Lieutenant of Russian Army that the man sitting across from her was wearing.

“The Czar told my father before I was assigned to the Embassy here in Berlin that you were someone to know socially” Sevastian Petrov said with a smile.

Georgy had adopted the German style of granting noble titles based on merit and service to the State. Sevastian Petrov was the son of such a man, a newly minted Duke of Russia. It was also a means of encouraging the development of Siberia and the Far East because Georgy tended to grant large tracts of land to such men in those regions, particularly if they proved to be a touch too ambitious. In the case of the Petrov family, the land they had received had a wealth of minerals as well, so they were filthy rich. Which was why Georgy had sent Sevastian her way as a not so subtle hint.

“What else were you told?” Gianna asked.

“That your mother was Russian and that you are the Chief Maid of the German Imperial Court” Sevastian replied as he leaned forward, “I was also told that you are of the Orthodox Church.”

Gianna no longer wanted to strangle Georgy, she wanted to give him the full Rasputin treatment for this. Poisoned, shot, stabbed, strangled and finally thrown into a frozen river. Her cousin might as well have told Sevastian who she really was, the clues were certainly there. The saving grace here was that Sevastian was apparently too thick to put them together.

“Did he also say that I’m a Journalist and intend to finish University before I do anything else with my life?” Gianna said with feigned nonchalance.

If Sevastian was put off by that he didn’t show it. “Interesting” He said, “My mother is a Physician.”

Yes, Gianna thought to herself, that would be the case wouldn’t it. A frozen river was too good for Georgy and there were no piranha or crocodiles in Russia, so disappointing.
 
How cruel from Georgy, send to his cousin a young, rich, liberal Duke so she could know him. Oh how cruel from him

If the young, rich, liberal Duke had been smart, interested in Gianna and supportive of her plans it might have different. This guy strikes me as Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate, come to Berlin to "swive and wive." (IMHO Kate shoulda kicked him in the crotch and pushed him down the stairs at her first opportunuity.)
 
If the young, rich, liberal Duke had been smart, interested in Gianna and supportive of her plans it might have different. This guy strikes me as Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate, come to Berlin to "swive and wive." (IMHO Kate shoulda kicked him in the crotch and pushed him down the stairs at her first opportunuity.)

I don´t know it´s strike me more as awkward and insecure of what to do than as a interested as Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate. He was told to know Gianna and he invited her to lunch, and he never say something that could be constructed as he was against Gianna plan´s, or uninterested in her as person, he know she is highly connected in the German nobility and that his mother is Russian, but to know more he have to speak with her.

Plus he is recently arrived to power and wealth, his father was make duke for his services to the states, this couldn´t be fast or too long ago, he is obviously out of his element, not knowing how to speak, from his perspective, to a rich, well educated, well connected, well traveled, cosmopolitan German socialite or noble (Gianna is a German Noble? I´m not sure). From his perspective he is a jumped up country hick in relation to Gianna. I Concede that he could play it more smarter
 
Part 50, Chapter 676
Chapter Six Hundred Seventy-Six


15th August 1948

Berlin

It being a Sunday morning Gianna knew that the latest round of the suiters that her cousin had inflicted upon her would be sleeping off their excess from the night before somewhere else, enabling her to avoid all of them. She entered the Russian Embassy to drop off a dozen letters declining various social invitations over the next week. Kat, Asia and even Anne found this whole thing humorous. Apparently, Gia had a type and it wasn’t the same type as her cousin found acceptable. The frustrating part was that she didn’t know what her type was. Petia, being practical and infuriating, had said that she thought Gianna was being silly. It they were rich and didn’t drink to excess, what else was there to want?

“Coming to break some more hearts?” The Secretary, a stout woman named Svetlana who seemed to always be sitting behind that desk every time Gianna came here asked.

“Am I breaking their hearts or are they behaving like a Football player who’s shin just got barked?” Gia asked in reply. Svetlana had a half smile over that. It was the first time that she had ever seen that woman amused.

Gianna heard the door open behind her and could smell the alcohol on the man before she turned around, speaking of drinking to excess. She glanced over her shoulder and saw a man who looked to be in his late fifties in the uniform of the Russian Armored Corps, a Major General. One was obviously late getting in this morning. Instead of the expected lecherous behavior the blood drained out of the mans face as if he was looking at a ghost. “Tatiana?” He asked.

Shit, Gianna thought to herself. All she needed was for a rumor to start getting around in this place of all places. “I’m sorry, Sir” She said, “You are mistaken.”

The man seemed disappointed, “You’re right” He said, “But you look like her.”

“Who?” Gianna asked, playing dumb.

“A girl I knew” He said glumly as he sat down on one of the chairs, “She’s been gone for a long time now.”

Svetlana was clearly not happy with the presence of the General in the lobby of the Embassy. “Can you give me a hand, Dear?” She said in a way that made it clear that no would not be an acceptable answer and had Gianna take the General’s other arm. As far as the Russian Embassy was concerned Gianna was the daughter of Russian exiles that had been absorbed into German Society. That was true, after a fashion but that also meant that Svetlana felt no need to give her any special consideration. The fact that had refused to sell herself cheaply to the neuvos nobility of the Russian Empire had been what had earned her a bit of respect from the secretary. They guided the General through the Embassy to the formal dining room where they deposited him on one of the chairs. There were Embassy functionaries around, they acted as if seeing someone who must be a military attaché completely trashed was a common sight. “Keep an eye on General Malama, please” Svetlana said, “Try to keep him from doing anything else stupid.”

“Are you sure you should do that?” Gia asked.

“You teach martial arts” Svetlana said flatly, “Hardly a shrinking violet.”

That was hitting Gianna in the face with a reality about what sort of person worked as a secretary in an important Embassy. Svetlana was very likely military intelligence, if not former NKVD. With Stalin and Beria dead she had let down her guard, that was not a good thing.

As soon as Svetlana left the room the General lifted his head from the table. “I apologize” He said.

“There is no need, Herr Malama” Gianna said, unsure as the proper address to give a Russian man. General Malama seemed to find something about that amusing.

“Just call me Dmitri” He said, “It seems weird that I should mistake a German girl for a Russian Princess, but I did, didn’t I.”

“Really?” Gianna replied, “Who was she?”

“The daughter of the Czar himself, if you’d believe it”

Gianna would believe it. This man had likely known her mother. “What happened?” She asked.

“I was wounded in battle and she was a nurse in the hospital” Dmitri replied, “War, revolution and the world itself were determined to keep us apart, that’s how it goes. Real life isn’t some fairy tale.”

“I already know that” Gianna said, probably sharper than she intended to.

“That’s tragic” Dmitri said, “When I was your age I thought I could win a woman’s heart by giving her a puppy.”

Gianna knew the story behind that, the dog that her mother had tried to bring into exile with her. She’d been forced to leave it behind and had no idea what had become of the poor animal. This was the dashing young cavalry officer who had given her mother Ortipo?

Fortunately, Svetlana saved Gianna from further conversation by entering room with what smelled like strong coffee and a few other things. “Your wife will have a fit if she sees you like this General” Svetlana said, “Especially after you were out all night again. You’ve better not have been in the gambling parlors or she’ll have your head.”

“I’ll be going now” Gianna said.

“I’ll send those cads your regrets” Svetlana replied.

“I’ve time to be picky” Gianna said, “Everyone knows the story of the Princess who kissed a Prince only to have him turn into a toad.”

That got a genuine smile from Svetlana. However, as soon as Gia said it she realized the full implications of that silly joke and how it might apply to the man who was just a few meters away.
 
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