is a 1992 Alternate History
novel written by Robert Harris. It was adapted into a film in 1994.
It's the 1960s, in a version of history where Nazi Germany won World War II
. A German policeman on what seems at first to be a routine murder investigation finds himself on the trail of an explosive political secret — the long-hushed-up truth about the Final Solution
takes place in a Nazi-controlled Europe in the days leading up to Hitler's 75th birthday, where Berlin is rebuilt to Speer's designs
and the main character is trying to uncover the big hushed up project regarding the Jews. The book is one of the more realistic visions
of a Nazi victory world
Fatherland provides examples of:
- Allohistorical Allusion: One rather subtle difference is that just as you start to wonder why "President Kennedy" is still alive and acting so Out of Character, the realisation dawns that America elected former ambassador Joseph Kennedy, JFK's father.
- Alternate History
- Animal Motifs: Xaver is compared to a fox by the narrator, who also says that he doesn't run with the (wolf) pack. (And groups of submarines are also called wolf packs. Xaver and Max were on subs during World War 2.) Max is compared to a bear.
- Asshole Victim: Doesn't get much worse than the people who engineered the Holocaust.
- Big Bad Friend
- Can't Stop The Signal: Very ambiguously done; we only see what the main character is believing to be happening, not what is actually happening.
- Deconstruction: Of previous "Hitler wins the war" scenarios. Germany in 1964 is not a very nice place by any means, but rather than the 'the Nazis take over the entire planet' scenarios common to the sub-genre, it's clearly ended up as closer to being an analogue of the Soviet Union than an all-powerful unstoppable juggernaut. German territorial expansion is limited to the East, as planned in real life, while the nations of the west are clearly satellite states more-or-less subservient to German hegemony but nevertheless independent from direct German control (again, as planned in real life). Rather than invading the United States and conquering it, there's a Cold War between them which is starting to warm into an uneasy detente, and rather than the Thousand Year Reich lasting forever and ever it's implied that Germany is slowly beginning to stagnate and will ultimately collapse from within anyway.
- Empire With A Dark Secret
- For Want of a Nail: The Allohistorical Allusion mentioned above might seem like a minor detail, but it may be a hint at the story's "point of divergence". When Joseph Kennedy was ambassador to Britain he was strongly in favour of appeasement with Germany well into 1940, and lost a lot of public face because of it. In this timeline, although America still clashed with Imperial Japan, it stayed out of the war in Europe.
- Foregone Conclusion: A rarity in an Alternate History, but the event itself has already happened - it's The Reveal that You Should Know Already; the protagonist is investigating some deep political conspiracy that has something to do with the Nazi party and concentration camps.
- Gender Blender Name: Charlie, a female ambassador.
- Hope Spot: Near the end of the book, after March has been horribly tortured by Globus, it appears that Arthur Nebe, Krebs and Max Jaeger have planned his escape so he can reveal the truth about the Holocaust to the world. However, March quickly deduces that they are trying to trick him into leading them to Maguire.
- In Spite of a Nail: Played with; the English rock-and-roll band who are often mentioned as becoming increasingly popular with the youth are never explicitly named, but it's pretty clear that they're either supposed to be The Beatles or an alternate universe equivalent who are close enough to them to make no real difference.
- Joggers Find Death
- Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Doesn't get much more major than this one.
- Nazi Protagonist: Averted. Despite holding the SS-rank of Sturmbannfuhrer (which equates roughly to Major in the wehrmacht and Komissar in the pre-Nazi Germany police force), it's mentioned several times that, despite being a very capable investigator, the protagonist hasn't progressed further in his career because of his outright refusal to become a party member. It's why he has such a poor relationship with his ultra-Nazi son and ex-wife and one of the main reasons that the kid betrays him.
- Out Damned Spot
- Released To Elsewhere
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Protagonist Xavier shows occasional signs of this, which might have contributed to the breakdown of his marriage. Living through the war certainly left him with a much-diminished view of the Third Reich.
- You Cannot Kill an Idea: "Cut a clearing in the forest of your mind, the trees are just waiting to reoccupy it." (rephrased)