Destined to Witness. Growing up Black in Nazi Germany

“None of them seemed to notice me – the living antithesis to their obsession with racial purity – as I peered into the meeting hall. Or so I thought. Suddenly, I was grabbed from behind by two large fists”

I’m not going to lie, I only read this book because of the picture, AND the subtitle of the book. 

How on earth does a black child end up in Nazi Germany? This has to be one of the most interesting biographies that I’ve read. 

Growing up in Nazi Germany must’ve been terrifying, but imagine being a mixed raced child not understanding any concept of race?! In addition to that, being the only black person in your village, not even having a black relative in close proximity all of the time.

A young Hans in his Hitler youth uniform

When I was a child, I didn’t really understand the concept of race, but at least I had my family around me, and there were black kids in my school. Hans J Massaquoi is mixed race, and lives with his white mother.

If he had any questions on race and racism, who would be there to help him? As much as his mother tried, she wouldn’t be able to explain it like his father could. But they made the best of the situation, and she showed amazing strength throughout the book.

The book details how Hans grew up loving the Fuhrer and wanted to be a part of the Hitler Youth. The tale of his growing up, his interactions with his dad, going through school and onto the war.

Life is hard enough, but then you are reminded of the fact that this sweet looking kid is black.

Hans J Massaquoi in later life

A black man growing up in Nazi Germany!

Hans J Massaquoi gets through all of this and lives a really fulfilled life and has a very interesting story. One of the better autobiographies that I’ve read.

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