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Destined to Witness: Growing up Black in Nazi Germany

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Look at life in Germany during Nazi years

This was a fascinating book. I could not put it down. I found what was most intresting was not so much that he was a black kid growing up in Germany, but his depiction of daily life in Germany at that time, and the perspective on the Nazi regime. Despite Hitler's mes...
This was a fascinating book. I could not put it down. I found what was most intresting was not so much that he was a black kid growing up in Germany, but his depiction of daily life in Germany at that time, and the perspective on the Nazi regime. Despite Hitler's message of hate, there were Germans who decided not to take the path of hate of fellow human beings. This book gives another historical perspective at the time.

posted by Anonymous on June 19, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Interesting Reading

The book is an interesting look at Nazi Germany from the eyes of a representative of a class of non-Aryan that had probably never been considered previously. But, I found the title to be a bit misleading as it is more the author's memoirs of coming of age, than it ...
The book is an interesting look at Nazi Germany from the eyes of a representative of a class of non-Aryan that had probably never been considered previously. But, I found the title to be a bit misleading as it is more the author's memoirs of coming of age, than it is a detailed story of survival by an 'enemy' of one of the most racist and brutal political parties in recorded history. All in all a good read, but not exactly what I was hoping for.

posted by Anonymous on April 13, 2000

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2006

    Look at life in Germany during Nazi years

    This was a fascinating book. I could not put it down. I found what was most intresting was not so much that he was a black kid growing up in Germany, but his depiction of daily life in Germany at that time, and the perspective on the Nazi regime. Despite Hitler's message of hate, there were Germans who decided not to take the path of hate of fellow human beings. This book gives another historical perspective at the time.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    A remarkable human interest story.

    This story was important to me because I was in the US Army with Hans back in the 1950's. He was a fine gentleman and a good soldier who came back to the states and worked hard.

    His story is true and once you start reading it you cannot put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2007

    A must read

    This book is excellent. The author's experiences of living in Nazi Germany are very captivating. This book is a real page turner!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2006

    Fantastic Book!

    This is a remarkable book! It kept me interested and helped me to gain a new perspective on Nazi Germany through the eyes of a non- aryan who wasn't jewish. It is a coming of age story and the author does a great job of depicting what life was like in Nazi Germany. It examines racism in a place other than America which I think most people are oblivious to. All in all Destined to Witness is a great book and I recommend it to everyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2000

    A negro in Hamburg?

    I couldn't put this book down - I also grew up in Nazi Germany as a Mischling. However, I was a juedischer Mischling and so had a lot of friends with the same problem. The author not only didn't have anybody in the same situation but was recognizable as a black child. I had never seen a negro until the US Army came to Berlin, much less a negro child. That neither he nor his courageous mother became bitter is amazing. The background of being excluded, the bombs falling, the hunger after the war etc. brought back my own years in Germany, but his is a very special and unusual biography. Although I am a few years his senior, I can so well identify with his childhood and the war and post-war years. I recommend this book to all my friends....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2000

    The Most Facinating Book I've Ever Read!!

    This book was excelent. I could hardly put it down. Although it is long, it keeps you interested and the story of Hanz's life is better than any other autobiography I have ever read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2000

    Interesting Reading

    The book is an interesting look at Nazi Germany from the eyes of a representative of a class of non-Aryan that had probably never been considered previously. But, I found the title to be a bit misleading as it is more the author's memoirs of coming of age, than it is a detailed story of survival by an 'enemy' of one of the most racist and brutal political parties in recorded history. All in all a good read, but not exactly what I was hoping for.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    This is a rare story about a black child that was raised in Nazi

    This is a rare story about a black child that was raised in Nazi Germany. His grandfather Momolu Massaquoi was a tribal king of the Vai tribe in Liberia and his son Al-Haj Massaquoi was a prince in training. They were having a meeting with President Friedrich Ebert a representative of Germany ' s first postwar government. Then his grandfather was chosen to go to Germany to further discuss better diplimatic relationship with Germany. Then they had a party one day at the villa and Momolu ' s son Al-Haj was also at the party in Germany and he made out with Bertha a German nurse and had a baby with her. Bertha named her son Hans-Jurgen Massaquoi. So Hans was born on January 19, 1926 in Hamburg, Germany. That is the story of how he came to be raised in Nazi Germany. At first he didn 't have any friends because the other children were always calling him Negro Negro Chimney sweeper. Then as the book goes on he starts to gain friends like Klaus who stood up for him on one occasion. My first favorite part of the book was when he went to the Hagenbecks Zoo to see the Africans on Display which upset his mother to see people on display in a zoo. My second favorite part was when in Liberia somebody burnt a tent down and they were using something called juju to find out who did it. They would find out who did it by lighting a saber on fire and then they would touch it to the persons skin if they were unharmed by the saber that meant the person was innocent. But if they were harmed by the blade that meant they were guilty. Then he went to Liberia to meet his father. Then eventually went to America on a student visa and ended up serving in the 82nd Airborne Division during the Korean War. Then he participated in the Civil Rights movement during the 1960s where he met different historical figures like Jesse Owens, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, the reverend Jesse Jackson, and Malcolm X just to name a few. Then eventually he became the editor or of a black news magazine titled Ebony.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    great story

    What an amazing life!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2000

    Informative and interesting

    It is great to gain another prespective of Nazi Germany and who were also affected by the politics of Adolph Hilter after WWI. The book brought a full picture of what was occuring socially for black people who lived in Nazi Germany as well as in Europe and their connection to Africa and the United States. His experience with racism on the other side of the globe as a black child paralleled to the racism exercised in America that many people know nothing about. He has connected historical events that very often go uncounted for to the larger more well studied parts of history and makes these lesser known accounts just as important.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2000

    SURVIVING NAZI GERMANY AS A MINORITY

    EXCELLENT READING,CANNOT NOT PUT IT DOWN. THE AUTHOR PAINTS AN INTERESTING PICTURE OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO LIVE IN NAZI GERMANY BEING A MINORITY AND SURVIVE.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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