|First Appearance||Asimov's Science Fiction|
|Reprinted||The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection|
|Publication date||August, 2017|
"Zigeuner" is a short story by Harry Turtledove, first published in the September/October issue of Asimov's Science Fiction in August, 2017. It was reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. St. Martin's, 2018. It won the Sidewise Award for best short form work in 2018.
"Zigeuner" is an alternate history story, set in October 1944 during a different version of World War II, although those differences are not immediately clear. The POV character is Joseph Stieglitz, a Hauptsturmführer of the SS, stationed in Hungary shortly after Germany has replaced Miklos Horthy with Ferenc Szálasi. Stieglitz is hopeful that Szálasi and his Arrow Cross Party will be motivated to fight off the Red Army, which has just crossed the country's eastern border. In the meantime, Stieglitz is tasked with rounding up a village of Romani people, also called Zigeuner in German, in western Hungary. While these actions are consistent with the Nazi Party's OTL efforts to exterminate the Roma, Turtledove reveals the alternate history at play when a Hungarian driver describes Adolf Hitler's service on the Eastern Front of World War I.
As Stieglitz arranges for the Romani village to be placed on a train for Poland, which will most likely result in their deaths, he further reflects on Hitler's antiziganism, which developed on the Eastern Front in part because of the efforts of Romani on behalf of Russia. Moreover, Hitler became sympathetic to the Jews after watching the Russians abuse them. Thus, Nazi doctrine includes acceptance of the Jews, while the Romani, "Bolsheviks", and homosexuals are the focus of Hitler's wrath.
The story ends with the whole village being deported. The narration reveals that Stieglitz is a secular Jew. He encounters a field rabbi, who reminds Stieglitz that their people have historically suffered much as the Romani have, and that Stieglitz could have just as easily wound up on the death train, had recent events taken a different turn. Stieglitz angrily threatens the rabbi, and then goes about his business.