Das Science Fiction Jahr 2012 (German Edition)

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By Between this date and the invasion of Poland on 1 September, , national politics in Germany follow the course of real history surprisingly closely. This is, of course, no coincidence, but a programmatic trait. Or, in other words: If Hitler had himself been a Jew and had experienced an entirely different upbringing, history would have progressed in an almost identical fashion, but the Holocaust would never have occurred in Germany. The incrimination of the United States Neuland is realized, on the one hand, through misrepresentations of actual historical developments.

In this context, the text moves the institutionalized displacement and murder of the American Indians forward through time into the middle of the 20th century and, likewise, moves the Watergate Landgate scandal back to also coincide with the Nazi regime. A similar strategy is applied to both Poland and the Soviet Union, only here with the added dimension that the projections are directly invoked to legitimize German acts of war against both nations.

A recreation of the real Holocaust, but without German SH And, later in the war, Operation Barbarossa is justified in a similar fashion: While the entire text is characterized by a relativist tone, these passages epitomize its overall universalizing strategy. By projecting the real historical anti-Semitism of the Third Reich onto other nations and contrasting it with the fictitious rationality and relative humanity of Altland, the text creates an alternate memory narrative which enables the inclined reader to harness certain aspects of this counterfactual scenario for a revision of the collective memory of National Socialism.

It propagates nothing less than the necessity of a total re-evaluation of the character and legacy of National Socialism by suggesting that the factual historical developments between the end of the First World War and the beginning of the Second were not primarily contingent on the ideological disposition of a majority of Germans — i. Consequently, the Third Reich is not only able to retain leading scientific minds such as Albert Einstein Dreistein , but even recruit Jewish scientists from other countries, such as J.

With the most influential scientific minds of the s now concentrated and collaborating in Altland, the most groundbreaking innovations do not only occur there before anywhere else, they also — for a large This alteration also extends to other academic fields and includes a number of prominent psychologists and other representatives of the Social Sciences.

Perhaps the most poignant — and, from a historical perspective, most grotesque — example is the fact that the entire Frankfurter Schule remains a part of German academia under the alternate National Socialist regime SH Meanwhile, the cumulative efforts in Altland speed up the development and manage to successfully test the first atomic bomb on 16 January, While there is no definitive date given for the beginning of the serial production of the A4 rocket, the passage in which this is mentioned is located well before the outbreak of the war in the text. In real history, the rocket was not ready for regular use until It is significant to note that this final victory of Altland, despite being a major alteration in its own right, does not come without its share of revisionist undertones.

This is represented, on the one hand, by the relativist portrayal of the aftermath of the bombing of Norfolk, in which the victims of the attack itself are altogether absent and the narrator exclusively focuses on retaliatory violence perpetrated by Americans against German See SH In contrast, the first successful test in the context of the Manhattan Project was conducted on 16 July, An explicit date for these two events is curiously absent here, but it seems a safe assumption that the progression follows the same timeline as the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the surrender of Japan, putting them within three and nine days of the first bombing, respectively.

For the reader, this SF turn of events does not actually not come as a surprise. Hitler IV is, in fact, the first incarnation we encounter in the text, coordinating the bombing of Baltimore in the proleptical first chapter. More importantly, however, in the narrative as a whole, this is not a sudden, but a gradual development. The final chapter displays distinct aspects of anti- modern angst, pessimistically foreshadowing a dystopian future in which technology will claim See SH The development of advanced computer systems is, without question, the most important technological allohistorical motif and by far the most significant scientific acceleration in the text.

As early as the mids, the Third Reich implements a de facto automatization of the lower ranks of government with a database processing information in ways and dimensions far ahead of its time. Februar , um 7.

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Therefore the question arises: Which sectors of See SH It is not mentioned whether he is recruited from the United States or never leaves Europe in the first place. Here, it is not the victory of Nazi Germany that is the center of SH The story is told on two narrative levels, covering two alternative timelines.

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The primary narrative centers on two main protagonists: The British history student Michael Young and the German physicist Leo Zuckermann. The specific historical knowledge this particular field of research has afforded him is put to advantageous use — after his dissertation is vocally rejected as prosaic tripe by his supervisor — when he accidentally meets Leo Zuckermann, an elderly German physicist and Cambridge fellow.


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As a result of this realization, he is plagued by such immense guilt that he becomes obsessed with the past and eventually develops a device to see backwards through time — the Temporal Imaging Machine, or TIM. While TIM is no time machine in the strictest sense, Michael and Leo eventually discover that they are able to use the device as a transmitter for very small objects. Regardless of his personal situation, the fact that Hitler never lived, he naturally assumes, must mean that the world has been altered for the better.

It is only gradually that he realizes his error. Again, the reader is presented with a second narrative, which is now presented from the perspective of Rudolf Gloder. Virtually worshipped by his men for his honorable personality and camaraderie that appears to know no rank, in this alternate timeline, Gloder evades death as a result of the risky maneuver Hitler had dared him into in the previous timeline by sending a willing subordinate in his stead.

After this event, it is finally revealed that Gloder is merely acting the part of the likeable comrade to foster his own advancement and that he is indeed a cunning careerist who literally leaves dead bodies in his trail on the way to the top. As the story progresses, Gloder follows a similar path as Hitler in real history, only with much greater success at every step, as a result of his particular intellectual and social talents. Meanwhile, in Princeton, Michael quickly learns that the alternate history he created is not actually improved at all.

Michael soon realizes that history has, in fact, turned out much worse through the removal of Hitler. In the following years, Gloder not only manages to achieve a greater degree of unification among the disparate political factions Making History, Internationally, he fosters the image of a cosmopolitan benevolent statesman, resulting in mutual trade agreements with Great Britain, and in even receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

Finally, in , the world realizes that Gloder has harbored a secret agenda all along. In the wake of the attack, the Wehrmacht occupies nearly all of Eastern Europe, as well as Turkey and Greece.

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A short time later, the Western European nations surrender without a fight and Germany strikes a cooperative agreement with the United States. In response, the United States sever diplomatic relations and a rebellion breaks out in Britain, which is brutally quashed by German forces. Rumors emerge from the Jewish Free State about systematic killings of its inhabitants, causing the United States to threaten war on the German Reich, which does not break out, however, due to American fears about the development of superior German weapons systems.

Homosexuality is still a crime in the Making History, Not in Europe. While initially it appears that, in the second timeline, at least Auschwitz did not exist, the reader later learns that, instead of a concentration camp, the town of Auschwitz was home to a German research facility in which Dietrich Bauer and Johann Kremer conducted experiments on a very special substance. Kremer had previously become aware of a strange case of localized infertility in the late 19th century in the Austrian town of Braunau am Inn.

The Jews were a threat.

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A real threat. Something had to be done, everyone thought so.

After all, the one constant in the two timelines is the widespread resentment of the German population, which the text explicitly emphasizes at various occasions. Militarily we are doing well, we have a clear advantage, everyone knows that. It is only on the home front that we are losing.

Morale is being fucked by the Bolsheviks, the pacifists and the artist queers. I suppose I should have known better. The circumstances were still the same in Europe. There was still a vacuum in Germany waiting to be filled. There was still fifty years of anti- Semitism and nationalism ready to be exploited. Rather, there are several clear indicators that not only acknowledge, but in fact highlight the responsibility of the German people for the legacy of National Socialism and the Holocaust.


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Like Dick, Fry does not direct his narrative at a German audience and he does not partake in the popular normalizing trends of postwar Germany. Rather, his narrative is targeting the forgetfulness of his compatriots, of those who would allow revisions of history to go unchallenged. This group is represented in the text itself by the reaction of the two CIA agents interviewing Michael, as representatives of the last remaining opponent of the alternate Nazi Germany, when one of them dismisses the previously secret information about Making History, Carl, the protagonist, a student of political science at the University of Munich, decides to visit Luise, his cousin, in Dresden.

Already the spontaneity of his travel plans and the casual agreement between him and Luise must have appeared strange to a contemporary reader, with an increased awareness of the bureaucracy involved in travelling from West to East Germany in Throughout the story, Carl continuously reflects on the past and present of this alternate Germany beginning with subtle remarks and passing observations, ultimately building to a radical externalization of aspects of real German history onto other countries. This potential for misinterpretation, however, is gradually removed as the story progresses.

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Another notable change laid out in this passage is the exchange between the French man and the Hungarian teenagers, when they speak about their travels across Europe and state that they are currently also headed for Nuremberg to stay with friends. The teenagers respond that it was precisely this historic character that attracted them in the first place. While changing trains in Hof, he encounters a large group of students on a school trip waiting on the platform and, subsequently, three buses from which senior travellers emerge in droves.

The realization that the city of Wroclaw was evidently not ceded to Poland in the aftermath of World War II represents a threshold in the narrative: From here on in, there can no longer really be any question about significant changes to history as the reader knows it.


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Consequentially, its casual integration into the story — establishing not merely the fact that the city presently still belongs to Germany, but implying more generally a state of German normalcy — indirectly, but efficiently, addresses this status and thereby caters to a position that is, at best, equally as concerned with the suffering of Germans as a result of the loss of the war as with the suffering of their victims in the twelve years prior.

The students speak with a heavy Saxonian accent and the buses, Carl notes, are all from Chemnitz. Aside from the revealing reference to the city that was actually Karl-Marx-Stadt in the GDR, the utter normalcy that is conveyed in the description of this encounter once more constitutes a key aspect of its description.

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Like the forfeiture of German territories in the previous passage, this episode addresses an essential element of postwar discourses of German loss: the division of Germany. While the existence of two separate German states constituted a general paradigm of the way in which the Second World War negatively affected the German population, the freedom of movement of the citizens of the GDR or, rather, the absence thereof, has always featured as an especially significant tenet — both in pre West Germany and in post-unification debates — of the integral demonization of East Germany in official and popular See ibid.

At the same time, his own critical, sarcastic perspective on these impressions establishes himself as a representative of more a more modern, a more progressive Germany, effectively guarding against potential allegations of over-idealizing German traditions. Carl and the Professor from Bonn near Cologne discuss the history of Spanish literature following the Francoist coup in , during which the German government remained neutral. In response to the fascist takeover, many members of the literary community of Spain fled the country and sought refuge, as it turns out, in the much more liberal Germany.

In the alternate Germany, the trip from Munich to Leipzig is unhindered by any effects of the real historical division of Germany. While seated in the dining car, Carl is joined by a middle- aged Italian woman who instantly notices the textbook on fascism in Italy that he is reading. While the overall historical development — that is, the time and circumstances of the rise and fall of Italian fascism — remain largely unchanged, some key characteristics are tellingly altered.

But most centrally it is the emotional subjectivity of her recollections that drive the narrative. Der Rest: biologischer Unrat. Over her family history, which she remembers as being defined by living in fear of the authorities, the account goes on to comment on the racist policies of the regime: This passage is at once a crucial historical alteration and an effective means of projection with See ibid.

While the Italian fascist system did include racist and anti-Semitic elements, they did not develop a significant status in the policies and propaganda of the regime until the formation of the Axis in the wake of the German intervention into the war in Abyssinia in support of the Italian forces. Man kann es ja wirklich kaum verstehen[. Without the legacy of an essentially extrinsic ideology weighing on their collective conscience, the alternate Germans enjoy freedoms that the Italians are denied, the foremost of which is a positive national identity.

This difference is explicitly acknowledged by the Italian woman, who expresses her envy for Carl, as representative of the German people, by marveling: The relative subtlety of the previous passages is finally abandoned here. Italics in the original. The counterfactual mode specifically enables this kind of casual, selective historical elision and permits it to function, at the same time, as a source for the formation of new memories that ultimately facilitate an overcoming of the real legacy of the fictionally omitted events. Rather, here Hitler never enters the sphere of politics at all, but instead realizes his adolescent dream of becoming a professional painter.

After the real historical two failed attempts, the alternate Hitler decides to apply for admission into the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna for a third time and is finally accepted. In counterfactual retrospect, these years of patriotic heroism are described as having a profound influence on the development of his later style. However, there is a considerable problem with this reading.

By itself, this level of the narrative may indeed be taken to imply that German society experienced considerable improvements as a result of the fact that Adolf Hitler never ascended to political power. Rosenfeld acknowledges the existence of this critical voice, but not the fundamental impact it has on the speech itself. Only an examination of both layers of the narrative in combination reveals the meticulous generalizations at work in the text and calls into question the seamless comparisons with earlier German Alternate Histories of the Third Reich.

Wo ich es endlich zum leitenden Angestellten in der Kulturabteilung gebracht habe? Vielleicht sollte ich auswandern. The alternatives for this choice, however, are significant here. Und was haben wir stattdessen? Hitler, nichts als Hitler! This idea of endless expansion and prospective global domination again engenders distinct associations with the Third Reich. In parallel with the speech itself, the critical commentary thus serves to accentuate the thinly veiled negative aspects of the alternate Germany within the laudatory whole and echoes the real memory of National Socialism sometimes subtly, sometimes less so.

One can only speculate as to why the United States are absent from this list, seeing as they are commonly the representation of choice in popular criticisms of globalization.