Fatherland: A Novel
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Fatherland is set in an alternative world where Hitler has won the Second World War. It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler's 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin's most prestigious suburb.
As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with an American journalist, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth -- a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history.
From the Paperback edition.
uttering a word. He was in his fifties and carried with him, like bad breath, the reek of the back-streets – of furtive deals and triple-entry accounting, of card-tables folded away at the sound of a tread on the stairs. Jaeger followed close behind. When the man saw March was not alone, he shrank back into the corner. ‘Who’s the woman?’ He appealed to Jaeger. ‘You never said anything about a woman. Who’s the woman?’ ‘Shut up, Willi,’ said Max. He gave him a gentle push into the drawing room.
the file. March stared at the green lawn, the green sky. ‘No police promotions for ten years. Divorced, 1957. And then the reports start. Blockwart: persistent refusal to contribute to Winter-Relief. Party officials at Werderscher Markt: persistent refusal to join the NSDAP. Overheard in the canteen making disparaging comments about Himmler. Overheard in bars, overheard in restaurants, overheard in corridors . . .’ Nebe was pulling pages out. ‘Christmas 1963 – you start asking round about some
proper visa. Barrier two: rechecking of the visas themselves. Three members of the Zollgrenzschutz, the border protection police, were stationed on either side of the entrance, carrying submachine guns. The elderly man in front of March was scrutinised with particular care, the customs officer speaking to someone on the telephone before waving him through. They were still looking for Luther. When March’s turn came, he saw how his passport baffled the customs man. An SS-Sturmbannführer with only
bones. Pigeons perched on the slopes of her immense bosom, like mountaineers on the face of a glacier. Behind her, a sign had been carved above the entrance to the archive, gold leaf inlaid on polished granite. A quotation from the Führer: FOR ANY NATION, THE RIGHT HISTORY IS WORTH 100 DIVISIONS. Rudolf Halder led March inside, and up to the third floor. He pushed at the double-doors and stood aside to let him walk through. A corridor with stone walls and a stone floor seemed to stretch for
frowned. ‘I don’t understand . . .’ ‘The reason you couldn’t reach me two hours ago was because I was on my way to the Gotenland marshalling yards, where the Gestapo were hugging themselves with joy that they had finally discovered Luther’s body.’ ‘That can’t be.’ ‘No. It can’t.’ March pinched the bridge of his nose and shook his head. It was hard to keep his mind clear. ‘My guess is Luther’s been hiding in the rail yard for the past four days, ever since he got back from Switzerland, trying