Destined to Witness by Hans Massaquoi
Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany

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Synopsis

This is a story of the unexpected.In Destined to Witness, Hans Massaquoi has crafted a beautifully rendered memoir -- an astonishing true tale of how he came of age as a black child in Nazi Germany. The son of a prominent African and a German nurse, Hans remained behind with his mother when Hitler came to power, due to concerns about his fragile health, after his father returned to Liberia. Like other German boys, Hans went to school; like other German boys, he swiftly fell under the Fuhrer's spell. So he was crushed to learn that, as a black child, he was ineligible for the Hitler Youth. His path to a secondary education and an eventual profession was blocked. He now lived in fear that, at any moment, he might hear the Gestapo banging on the door -- or Allied bombs falling on his home. Ironic,, moving, and deeply human, Massaquoi's account of this lonely struggle for survival brims with courage and intelligence.

 

About Hans Massaquoi

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Hans J. Massaquoi emigrated to the United States in the early 1950s. He served in the U.S. Army and then became a journalist for Johnson Publishing, where he was managing editor of Ebony magazine. He was an active participant in the civil rights movement. The father of two sons, Hans lives with his wife, Katherine, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 480 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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Although the bizarre singularity of the child Massaquoi’s plight is central to the work, it is the journalist Massaquoi’s close eye for the subtleties of personal and social behavior, as well as a rather daring digressive structural and prose style, that makes this unusual tale both substantiativ...

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Publishers Weekly

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In a unique addition to the literature of life under the Third Reich, Massaquoi, a former managing editor of Ebony magazine, chronicles his life as the son of a German nurse and Al-Haj Massaquoi, the son of the Liberian consul general to Germany.

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