The World of Turtledove's In the Presence of Mine Enemies

I recently re-read (or rather, re-listened to the audiobook version) Turtledove's In the Presence of Mine Enemies, which is the first book of AH fiction that I read and, despite its shortcomings, holds a special place for me in my collection of AH fiction.

For obvious reasons, Turtledove kept the PoD vague, and really only focuses on the aspects of domestic life in Berlin itself, giving us only tiny glimpses of what's going on in the rest of the world, mainly through off-hand commentary from the daughter Alicia's classroom, the news broadcasts that feature rather regularly, or the sole setting outside Berlin, when the character Susanna Weiss goes to London for an academic conference. There is just so much that begs to be filled in.

On top of that, there is definitely room to ask "what happens next" Does the analog between Turtledove's early 2010s Reich and the early 1990s Soviet Union continue and the Reich collapse? Does America try to push off the yoke of Nazi control leading to a new conflict? Also, there are questions for the individual characters, as Turtledove hints at future relationships for some of the Jewish children.

I would be interested in trying to better flesh out the rest of the world in Presence, along with potentially exploring where things go after the end of the book.

Any thoughts?

One thing that occurred to me is that Switzerland remains neutral in this TL. What happened to Jews in that country? If the Swiss somehow became a haven for a Jewish community, this might play into the future of Jews in the Reich itself if the reforms continue and lead to a collapse of the Nazi state.

That is just one thought among many.

For example, when the UK fell in WWII, did Canada fall too, or go out on its own with a close alliance with the USA, only to fall in the 1970s during WWIII? And if the latter, did some of the British government and Royal Family go into exile there? Could we have seen a King George of Canada ruling at the same time as Edward VIII retook the throne in the UK after the 1940s? (Assuming that is who took over in the UK under British occupation...the book never says who King Henry IX is the descendent of).

[Note to Admin - I was pretty sure this should go in the "AH Books and Media" forum, but if not please move it to a more appropriate space]
 
Since I posted this rather late, thought I’d give this a morning bump and add another thought.

In the United States, we know that there is still an American legislature in Omaha, with the implication that DC and Philadelphia at least got nuked. We also know that the SS we t after American Jews and African Americans after the war. My questions here are:

1) Is the Constitution of 1787 left intact, at least on paper? Likely with fascist or ultra conservative political organizations in control? With an extant legislature in some level of power this isn’t like Man in the High Castle where the Nazis take a more direct hand in their occupation.

2) with the extermination of minorities, was this done by German occupiers alone, or was an American branch of the SS set up and this carried out more by local Americans?

3) what other cities were likely a victim of nukes?

4) what was Japan‘s role in the downfall of the United States?
 
Okay, so I've been mulling this topic about most of the day, and here is what I came up with so far:


Switzerland
  • Remained neutral, but faces pressure from the Reich.

  • First in the 1950s and then in the 1970s, Swiss expelled most ex-pats including many Jewish refugees. This caused major outrage and civil unrest that made the 1970s a very volatile time for the Swiss government, but things stabilized by the 1980s.

    • There IS a native Jewish population in Switzerland that exists uneasily in a country with creeping anti-semitism, and the leaders of this population are intensely watched by agents from the Reich.
  • On somewhat better terms with the Italian Empire

  • By and large, has remained extremely isolationist, and while the rich from the Reich and Italy and Japan do visit, immigrating is next to impossible, and the Swiss authorities do not accept refugees. There is a vocal opposition party that says what the Swiss government has done to outsiders seeking refuge is wrong, but most Swiss value their independence too greatly to risk such humanitarian efforts.

The UK up to 1945
  • George VI is killed in a bombing raid in 1941, making 15-year-old Elizabeth the Queen.

  • Sealion is activated that same year, and London falls by January 1942, with Churchill and the Royal Family evacuating to Scotland.

  • In the summer of 1942, the Royals evacuate to Canada.

  • Churchill’s government falls in 1943 and Germany forces the UK to negotiate an armistice.

  • The Dublin Accords of 1944: The UK is placed under German control, Canada is fully independent, as is Australia (which by this time is facing invasion from Japan). India is declared a Reichs Protectorate, along with the British colonize in Africa (save South Africa, which has declared itself an independent republic in 1943). Canada is styled the Kingdom of Canada, with 18-year-old Elizabeth as Queen.

  • IN 1945, Edward VIII is restored as King of the United Kingdom, and his wife Wallis is recognized as Queen and Sir. Oswald Mosely, who had been working closely with the occupation authorities, is declared Prime Minister.

The USA & Canada through WWIII
  • FDR dies prior to his nomination, and John Nance Garner beats Hoover in 1932, and again in 1936.

  • Charles Lindbergh (R) faces off against Al Smith (D) in 1936 and wins, and is reelected in 1940 and 1944 running a successful campaign of keeping America out of WWII.

  • Joseph Kennedy (D) defeats Thomas Dewey ( R) in 1948, and again in 1952. During his term in office, he seeks close ties with Canada and Australia (which had successfully held off a Japanese invasion in WWII.

  • Amid rising tensions with the Reich and Japan, Americans again fear foreign entanglements and turn back to a Republican, newly converted Strom Thurmond, in 1956, and he largely appeases the Reich. He narrowly wins reelection in 1960. (During the 1950s, amid rising race tensions, the Kennedy democrats, in seeking to have a clear difference from the Nazis, begin to embrace racial equality, and the Dixicrats like Thurmond flee to the Republicans).

  • When Adolf Hitler dies in 1963, President Thurmond visits Berlin, a much-trumpeted sign that things between the Reich and the USA were thawing (though this was not to be).

  • Thurmond attempts to run again in 1964 but is defeated by Democrat Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey takes a hard line against Berlin and Japan and speaks openly of allying more closely with Australia and Canada.

  • Humphrey is reelected in 1968.

  • In 1970, Australia and Japan go to blows, and Humphrey reluctantly declares that the US must help, as does Canada. The US does have nukes, but not long-range missiles like the Reich.

  • Over the winter of 1970-1, major uprisings rock the United Kingdom, which Germany puts down savagely by the late Spring.

  • After two are used in the Pacific in 1971, Germany decides to act decisively.

  • Only July 3-4, 1971, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, Seattle, Toronto, Ottawa, and San Francisco are all nuked by the Reich, in addition to Sydney.

  • The ramshackle remains of the US government sue for peace. Former President Strom Thurmond works with survivors to organize a government to negotiate with the Reich.

  • In the Charleston Peace Accords of 1972, the Reich recognizes Thurmond’s government as a protectorate. Canada is declared part of the United States. Elizabeth of Canada was killed along with her husband, son, and two daughters. Her sister, Princess Margret, was in Vancouver and survived, and returns to the United Kingdom, where she is embraced by King Edward VIII’s court. Under the new occupation, all existing political parties are banned, and Thurmond organizes the new Continental Party, borrowing aspects from the Nazis.

  • Thurmond is “reelected” in 1972 (unopposed), and sets about modeling the new USA in the Nazi’s image. The SS is assisted in rounding up African Americans and Jews. There is resistance and civil unrest throughout the country, but this is put down by a mix of Nazi troops and Thurmond supporters. In 1974, in an effort to show non-bias, Thurmond moves the capital from its temporary location in Charleston to Omaha.

  • Thurmond will serve four terms as President under Nazi occupation, from 1973-1989.

The UK after WWIII
  • King Edward VIII and Queen Wallis have no children.

  • An attempt is made on their lives during the Winter Uprising in 1970-71, during which time the Royals flee to Scotland.

  • After the destruction of the Canadian Royal Family, Princess Margaret, her husband, Prince Harold, and their son, Prince Henry, return to the UK, and in 1973, Margaret is formally recognized as the heir to the throne.

  • Edward VIII dies in 1975, and Margaret becomes Queen Margaret I.

  • Margaret works closely with the BUF and the Nazis (she’d never really enjoyed exile in Canada).

  • Margaret dies in 2001 at the age of 71, and her son, Henry, becomes King Henry IX at the age of 31.
 
Thanks for looking at this. This is a Turtledove book that deserves a prequel and a sequel....




2) with the extermination of minorities, was this done by German occupiers alone, or was an American branch of the SS set up and this carried out more by local Americans?
I would say all three with the third group likely having the largest number of and most eager participants. An unpleasant but realistic prospect.
 
w
Okay, so I've been mulling this topic about most of the day, and here is what I came up with so far:


Switzerland
  • Remained neutral, but faces pressure from the Reich.

  • First in the 1950s and then in the 1970s, Swiss expelled most ex-pats including many Jewish refugees. This caused major outrage and civil unrest that made the 1970s a very volatile time for the Swiss government, but things stabilized by the 1980s.
    • There IS a native Jewish population in Switzerland that exists uneasily in a country with creeping anti-semitism, and the leaders of this population are intensely watched by agents from the Reich.
  • On somewhat better terms with the Italian Empire

  • By and large, has remained extremely isolationist, and while the rich from the Reich and Italy and Japan do visit, immigrating is next to impossible, and the Swiss authorities do not accept refugees. There is a vocal opposition party that says what the Swiss government has done to outsiders seeking refuge is wrong, but most Swiss value their independence too greatly to risk such humanitarian efforts.

The UK up to 1945
  • George VI is killed in a bombing raid in 1941, making 15-year-old Elizabeth the Queen.

  • Sealion is activated that same year, and London falls by January 1942, with Churchill and the Royal Family evacuating to Scotland.

  • In the summer of 1942, the Royals evacuate to Canada.

  • Churchill’s government falls in 1943 and Germany forces the UK to negotiate an armistice.

  • The Dublin Accords of 1944: The UK is placed under German control, Canada is fully independent, as is Australia (which by this time is facing invasion from Japan). India is declared a Reichs Protectorate, along with the British colonize in Africa (save South Africa, which has declared itself an independent republic in 1943). Canada is styled the Kingdom of Canada, with 18-year-old Elizabeth as Queen.

  • IN 1945, Edward VIII is restored as King of the United Kingdom, and his wife Wallis is recognized as Queen and Sir. Oswald Mosely, who had been working closely with the occupation authorities, is declared Prime Minister.

The USA & Canada through WWIII
  • FDR dies prior to his nomination, and John Nance Garner beats Hoover in 1932, and again in 1936.

  • Charles Lindbergh (R) faces off against Al Smith (D) in 1936 and wins, and is reelected in 1940 and 1944 running a successful campaign of keeping America out of WWII.

  • Joseph Kennedy (D) defeats Thomas Dewey ( R) in 1948, and again in 1952. During his term in office, he seeks close ties with Canada and Australia (which had successfully held off a Japanese invasion in WWII.

  • Amid rising tensions with the Reich and Japan, Americans again fear foreign entanglements and turn back to a Republican, newly converted Strom Thurmond, in 1956, and he largely appeases the Reich. He narrowly wins reelection in 1960. (During the 1950s, amid rising race tensions, the Kennedy democrats, in seeking to have a clear difference from the Nazis, begin to embrace racial equality, and the Dixicrats like Thurmond flee to the Republicans).

  • When Adolf Hitler dies in 1963, President Thurmond visits Berlin, a much-trumpeted sign that things between the Reich and the USA were thawing (though this was not to be).

  • Thurmond attempts to run again in 1964 but is defeated by Democrat Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey takes a hard line against Berlin and Japan and speaks openly of allying more closely with Australia and Canada.

  • Humphrey is reelected in 1968.

  • In 1970, Australia and Japan go to blows, and Humphrey reluctantly declares that the US must help, as does Canada. The US does have nukes, but not long-range missiles like the Reich.

  • Over the winter of 1970-1, major uprisings rock the United Kingdom, which Germany puts down savagely by the late Spring.

  • After two are used in the Pacific in 1971, Germany decides to act decisively.

  • Only July 3-4, 1971, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, Seattle, Toronto, Ottawa, and San Francisco are all nuked by the Reich, in addition to Sydney.

  • The ramshackle remains of the US government sue for peace. Former President Strom Thurmond works with survivors to organize a government to negotiate with the Reich.

  • In the Charleston Peace Accords of 1972, the Reich recognizes Thurmond’s government as a protectorate. Canada is declared part of the United States. Elizabeth of Canada was killed along with her husband, son, and two daughters. Her sister, Princess Margret, was in Vancouver and survived, and returns to the United Kingdom, where she is embraced by King Edward VIII’s court. Under the new occupation, all existing political parties are banned, and Thurmond organizes the new Continental Party, borrowing aspects from the Nazis.

  • Thurmond is “reelected” in 1972 (unopposed), and sets about modeling the new USA in the Nazi’s image. The SS is assisted in rounding up African Americans and Jews. There is resistance and civil unrest throughout the country, but this is put down by a mix of Nazi troops and Thurmond supporters. In 1974, in an effort to show non-bias, Thurmond moves the capital from its temporary location in Charleston to Omaha.

  • Thurmond will serve four terms as President under Nazi occupation, from 1973-1989.

The UK after WWIII
  • King Edward VIII and Queen Wallis have no children.

  • An attempt is made on their lives during the Winter Uprising in 1970-71, during which time the Royals flee to Scotland.

  • After the destruction of the Canadian Royal Family, Princess Margaret, her husband, Prince Harold, and their son, Prince Henry, return to the UK, and in 1973, Margaret is formally recognized as the heir to the throne.

  • Edward VIII dies in 1975, and Margaret becomes Queen Margaret I.

  • Margaret works closely with the BUF and the Nazis (she’d never really enjoyed exile in Canada).

  • Margaret dies in 2001 at the age of 71, and her son, Henry, becomes King Henry IX at the age of 31.
I love what you have here and would love too see more.
 
Thanks for looking at this. This is a Turtledove book that deserves a prequel and a sequel...

I would say all three with the third group likely having the largest number of and most eager participants. An unpleasant but realistic prospect.
w
I love what you have here and would love to see more.
Thank you! I'm glad you like what I've posted so far. I have actually started working on a rough story outline and fleshing out more of the geopolitical situation facing the Greater German Reich following the 2012 SS Coup. My personal opinion is that this would have been the beginning of the end. Once people are given some freedoms and some room to breath, they demand more (not unlike what happened in the USSR). My plan at the moment is to jump to 2020, eight years after the end of the first book (more or less). The children will all either be young adults or in their upper teen years. The adult characters, who were (most-likely, though this is never stated) in their early-to-mid 40s, will be in their 50s by this time and further along in their careers (or figuring out new ones).

One key feature in the broader geopolitical story will be that the USA is about to have a real election for the first time since 1968, which will have people in the Wehrmacht, to say nothing of the SS and the Party, unnerved.
 
I'd imagine this German-occupied US would look something like the eastern half of the US in the The Man in the High Castle show - white Americans are let alone so long as they allow the Nazis to exterminate minorities. However, given that this is a conquest, there would likely be insurgencies in a way reminiscent of the OTL American war in Afghanistan.
 
I'd imagine this German-occupied US would look something like the eastern half of the US in The Man in the High Castle show - white Americans are let alone so long as they allow the Nazis to exterminate minorities. However, given that this is a conquest, there would likely be insurgencies in a way reminiscent of the OTL American war in Afghanistan.
A major difference between this setting and that of MITHC is that the defeat and subsequent occupation occurred in the 1970s, not the 1940s. Racial equality would have made progress that would have been roughly similar to OTL. This would have meant greater resistance to the round-ups and murders of African Americans. But it still would go through and you would still see US whites helping, some quite eagerly I'd imagine, those who'd so recently lost the desegregation fight being able to dish out a might reversal. I would also imagine that insurgencies would have been common, but this is also why I see the Reich trying to work with "homegrown" elements instead of just installing a foreign occupation apparatus directly. Keep the forms of the old American system and pervert it to the Nazis' purposes.
 
For instance, I could see the US flag being left alone after the war, though with the inclusion of the new flag of Thurmond's fascist puppet party being used alongside the national flag. It is possible that the stars might be replaced with a fascist-looking redesign of the American eagle. I do not think the stars would be replaced with a swastica a-la Man in the High Castle in a scenario where the Nazis leave the American government "intact," even if it is mostly in name only.
 
1) Is the Constitution of 1787 left intact, at least on paper? Likely with fascist or ultra conservative political organizations in control? With an extant legislature in some level of power this isn’t like Man in the High Castle where the Nazis take a more direct hand in their occupation.
Maybe TTL's America would declare "the Founding Fathers envisioned our country as a Republic, not a democracy" and at more slap a few amendments to the 1787 Constitution?
 
As for Thurmond's minions, may I suggest General Edwin Walker as the head of his military as he was a general who was affiliated with the John Birch Society and John G. Schmitz as his successor as he was so far-right, the John Birch Society kicked him out for "extremism".
 
Also the Nazis, as per their plans for Britain OTL,would have an extensive wanted list of prominent Americans who opposed them.
 
A major difference between this setting and that of MITHC is that the defeat and subsequent occupation occurred in the 1970s, not the 1940s. Racial equality would have made progress that would have been roughly similar to OTL. This would have meant greater resistance to the round-ups and murders of African Americans. But it still would go through and you would still see US whites helping, some quite eagerly I'd imagine, those who'd so recently lost the desegregation fight being able to dish out a might reversal. I would also imagine that insurgencies would have been common, but this is also why I see the Reich trying to work with "homegrown" elements instead of just installing a foreign occupation apparatus directly. Keep the forms of the old American system and pervert it to the Nazis' purposes.
Also as per OTL the US military would have been the most intergrated institution in American society at the time. This would have played a powerful role in any resistance to the Nazis.
 
Maybe TTL's America would declare "the Founding Fathers envisioned our country as a Republic, not a democracy" and at more slap a few amendments to the 1787 Constitution?
It's quite possible. And with a former president stepping up to "save" the country, you'd see Thurmond and his far-right conservatives taking up the narrative that the Kennedy and Humphrey Administrations had taken the country "off course," and that he and his ilk were the "saviors of the nation," etc.

As for Thurmond's minions, may I suggest General Edwin Walker as the head of his military as he was a general who was affiliated with the John Birch Society and John G. Schmitz as his successor as he was so far-right, the John Birch Society kicked him out for "extremism".
I'd never heard of these guys, but after a quick google search they could definitely fit the bill to at T. Were you suggesting them as military leaders only, or future "Presidents" under the Nazi semi-occupation? I was debating how long I wanted to keep using people from OTL up in 2020.

They would also be lauded for supporting slavery and Indian removal/eradication.
Indian removal maybe. Indian eradication, possibly not. The Germans have, since long before the Nazis, had a soft spot for the American Indian.
But slavery would absolutely be seen in a different light ITTL.

Also the Nazis, as per their plans for Britain OTL,would have an extensive wanted list of prominent Americans who opposed them.
For sure. Senior members of the Democratic Party, members of the military. Not to mention leaders of the NAACP and other such political groups.

Also as per OTL the US military would have been the most intergrated institution in American society at the time. This would have played a powerful role in any resistance to the Nazis.
With WWIII, I don't see much actual formal fighting in North America. There is fighting in the Pacific, and then the nukes get unleashed and after several cities are obliterated and the government wiped out, the Nazis offer a dignified surrender which Thurmond and others help organize. There would be resistance to be sure, but from civilians and from rogue US military units, but I think most *white* Americans would see the opportunity to avoid more destruction and probably take it, even if it is distasteful.
 
Were you suggesting them as military leaders only, or future "Presidents" under the Nazi semi-occupation? I was debating how long I wanted to keep using people from OTL up in 2020.
Walker as one of the leaders of the coup while Schmitz could be the latter.
 
Walker as one of the leaders of the coup while Schmitz could be the latter.
Ah gotcha. I could definitely see it. That said, it isn't *technically* a coup. DC got nuked, so a majority of the federal government was wiped out. Thurmond works with conservative members of the military to "restore" the government and put the pieces back together. Now, it is likely that agents from the Reich may have reached out to him beforehand, so there likely was some level of conspiracy. But popular memory wouldn't really see what happened as a coup. Those who aren't fans of Thurmond's government definitely question the legitimacy of what happened, but even they mostly don't see this as a coup in the traditional sense.
 
For sure. Senior members of the Democratic Party, members of the military. Not to mention leaders of the NAACP and other such political groups.
I bet Martin Luther King and Malcolm X might have different and interesting alternate paths ib this timeline ie both are alive in the 1970s and survive WW3 .

Also perhaps part of what gets rid of Thurmond is a revelation that he had violated his own regimes odious racial laws by keeping this person alive and hidden ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essie_Mae_Washington-Williams
 
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I can also see David Duke emerging as the Kennedy analog for the 1992 election.

Also consider Reverend Charles Manson, who in OTL tried to trigger a "racial holy war" from 1970-1975,...
 
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