By Hans J. Massaquoi
This is a narrative of the unexpected.In Destined to Witness, Hans Massaquoi has crafted a superbly rendered memoir -- an miraculous actual story of ways he got here of age as a black baby in Nazi Germany. The son of a well-liked African and a German nurse, Hans remained in the back of together with his mom while Hitler got here to energy, because of issues approximately his fragile future health, after his father back to Liberia. Like different German boys, Hans went to college; like different German boys, he rapidly fell lower than the Fuhrer's spell. So he used to be overwhelmed to benefit that, as a black baby, he was once ineligible for the Hitler adolescence. His route to a secondary schooling and an eventual career was once blocked. He now lived in worry that, at any second, he may possibly pay attention the Gestapo banging at the door -- or Allied bombs falling on his domestic. Ironic,, relocating, and deeply human, Massaquoi's account of this lonely fight for survival brims with braveness and intelligence.
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Additional resources for Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany
Suddenly, something happened that I had feared from the moment I caught sight of the exhibit. Despite the fact that I had carefully tried to stay 26 / DESTINED TO WITNESS in the background in order to see without being seen, one of the Africans spotted me in the crowd. All at once the entire village took notice of me. The two women stopped pounding and the men stopped puffing. As if they had seen a long-lost relative, they were all pointing and grinning at me. Desperately, I tried to hide behind one of the spectators, but to no avail.
Eventually, Mont Blanc sent Tante Tilli into retirement and she moved from the neighborhood into a retirement home. Since we were in desperate need of additional living space, Mutti jumped at the opportunity of renting her vacated apartment. At the same time, we—especially I—hated to see the kind old lady go. ” As young as I was at the time, I realized that she was speaking from experience. I don’t know what ever happened to her thousands of newspapers and brown paper bags, but after she packed them and left, her bedroom became my bedroom and—thank God—was never the same.
Erika was a frisky redhead a year younger than I, whose maternal grandmother, Frau Häselich, was her baby-sitter and a charter member of the club. By coincidence, Erika’s father, Walter Schmedemann, was a Stationsarbeiter (station worker) at my mother’s hospital. Station workers did menial tasks such as delivering food from the kitchen to the various hospital wards by way of a two-wheeled pushcart. I learned later that Onkel Walter was also a prominent functionary in anti-Hitler Social Democratic politics.