Review – Shtetl Days by Harry Turtledove

The novella Shtetl Days, by alternate history writer Harry Turtledove is set about a hundred years after the War of Retribution in which Nazi Germany won.  Veit Harlan and his wife Kristina are actors, portraying Jakub and Bertha Shlayfer in the village of Wawolnice, a Jewish reenactment village in Poland.

As actors who take pride in their work, they do their best to be as true to their roles as they can.  This involves studying the no-longer-practiced rites, rituals, customs and beliefs of a way of life that the Nazis worked hard to get rid of.  To the tourists, Wawolnice is an example of the dirty people that the Germans had to get rid of.  To the actors portraying the hated, hateful Jews, it’s … something else.

I enjoy Turtledove’s works, and this is one of my favorites.  A poignant reminder of “what might happen if …”

Turtledove, Harry.  Shtetl Days.  Tor.com, 2011.  Amazon.

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