Esther Stutzman
Fictional Character
In the Presence of Mine Enemies
POD: c. 1940
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: Germany
Religion: Judaism (secret)
Date of Birth: 20th century
Occupation: Receptionist
Spouse: Walther Stutzman
Children: Gottlieb Stutzman, Anna Stutzman

Esther Stutzman was the wife of Walther Stutzman, and the mother of Anna and Gottlieb. She and the rest of her family were secretly Jews living in Berlin. She and her family were present when their friends, the Gimpels, also Jews, informed their eldest daughter Alicia of her true heritage.

Although her husband made an excellent living at Zeiss, the main computer company of the Greater German Reich, Esther worked as the morning receptionist for pediatrician Martin Dambach. Among Dambach's patients was Paul Klein, the infant son of Maria and Richard Klein, themselves hidden Jews. When Dambach diagnosed Paul with Tay-Sachs disease, a condition most common in Jews, Esther had Walther enter the Reich's database and alter the Kleins' genealogical report, adding some potential Jews in the past. Esther added this apparently authentic report to Paul's file. However, she neglected to remove the original report from the file of Paul's brother, Eduard. Dambach noticed the discrepancy, and reported it.

Esther had to deal with the guilt her oversight. She also had to deal with the unwanted attentions of the investigating officer, Maximilian Ebert. The investigation came to an end when it was learned that Reichsführer-SS Lothar Prützmann had a great-nephew with Tay-Sachs.

When the fourth Führer, Heinz Buckliger, began instituting reforms upon his ascension in 2010, Esther and her family were cautiously optimistic about their futures. They grew moreso when Buckliger announced that free and fair elections for seats in the Reichstag on 10 July 2011. That optimism was spurred further by the charismatic Rolf Stolle, the Gauleiter of Berlin, and a more strident advocate for reform than Buckliger.

Panicked, the SS launched a Putsch to remove Buckliger. Remembering the Kleins, Esther asked Walther to help leak information about the incident involving Lothar Prützman's Tay-Sachs afflicted nephew. This soon snowballed into a rumor that Prützman was a Jew himself. The rumor spread quickly, styming the SS in its efforts to arrest Stolle, and motivating the Wehrmacht to mobilise in support of Buckliger. Prützman shot himself rather than face arrest, Buckliger was returned to power, and the elections were held, with the reformers being swept into office. Thus, in a small but important way, Esther Stutzman helped save the Reich.

Literary comment[]

Esther Stutzman is a name which Harry Turtledove's friend Esther Friesner (editor of the Chicks stories, et al) uses for legal purposes on some occasions.