|"Christmas Truce (story)"|
|Publication date||October 22, 2019|
"Christmas Truce" is an alternate history short story by Harry Turtledove, first published in the November/December 2019 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. An excerpt may be found at the Asimov's website.
The story is set in German-occupied Messines, Belgium on Christmas Day, 1914 during the Christmas truce which briefly halted hostilities early in World War I. However, Gefreiter Adolf Hitler is not pleased with the turn of events.
Initially sequestering himself from the festivities, Hitler is ordered to run a message to the front. When he arrives, he sees German and British soldiers playing soccer and generally acting in a friendly manner. Enraged, Hitler shoots a British soldier. Another British officer promptly shoots Hitler dead.
In a brief coda, Hitler's killer and a German officer reassure each other that this was a one-off incident, and that while the deaths are tragic, the Christmas Truce will hold. While the British officer mourns his dead friend, the German officer merely pays lip-service to the dead Hitler.