Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital "New Money, New Power" in 'Empire' Season 2 First Look Video Promo "New Money, New Power" in 'Empire' Season 2 First Look Video Promo Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Will World Premiere as the Closing Night Film at the 53rd New York Film Festival Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Will World Premiere as the Closing Night Film at the 53rd New York Film Festival What TV Critics Are Saying about MTV's 'White People' Documentary + Watch 3 Clips What TV Critics Are Saying about MTV's 'White People' Documentary + Watch 3 Clips Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Watch: 'Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany' - Hans J. Massaquoi's Story

Shadow and Act By Wendy Okoi-Obuli | Shadow and Act July 28, 2014 at 5:05PM

Hans Massaquoi died at 87 years old in January 2013.
3
Hans Massaquoi – Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany

"Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany" is based on the biography of the same name by Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi, former Managing Editor of Ebony Magazine, who was born in Germany in 1926 to Bertha Nikodijevic, a German nurse, and Al-Haj Massaquoi, son of the Liberian Consul General in Hamburg, Germany.

It seems the book was first published (in English, anyway) in 1999 and was so popular in Germany, where it was entitled "Neger, Neger, Schornsteinfeger" ("Negro, Negro, Chimney Sweep") that the autobiography remained on top of the bestselling list of the German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel, for a couple of months. A screenplay of "Neger, Neger, Schornsteinfeger" was adapted from the book and a two-part film aired on German ZDF TV channel in 2006.

We’re all aware of the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany but, owing to the tiny minority of black people (most of them mixed race children of African WWI soldiers from the French colonies), other than being conferred second class citizenship, black Germans were by and large spared a similar fate. Having said that, in Rhineland, where most of the aforementioned WWI soldiers settled and had families, a secret program of sterilization and abortions on black and mixed race Germans was enforced.

While Massaquoi was spared from this indignity, he did suffer racial abuse and, despite being and considering himself German, was denied the dream of many young German children of the time, joining the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth Movement) and was also deemed unsuitable later on for service in the German military due to his racial “impurity.”

You can go to the Library of Congress website, where Audrey Fischer gives an account of Massaquoi’s life, from his privileged beginnings when he “associated black skin with superiority, since our servants were white,” to a more impoverished lifestyle after his grandparents and father returned to Liberia but his mother insisted he stay with her in Germany; how black American athletes, boxer Joe Louis and Olympic runner Jesse Owens, engendered pride in his African heritage; through to his emigration to the US where he served in the army, studied journalism and later went on to become Managing Editor of Ebony Magazine.

Hans Massaquoi died at 87 years old in January 2013.

Below are the first 60 minutes of what I’m assuming was the film that aired on German TV in 2006. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll be searching out the second 60 minutes, and will want to learn more about, not only Hans Massaquoi’s extraordinary life, but also that era of Afro-German history. One of the things I particularly liked in what I watched below are the two black American GI’s coming across the young Hans Massaquoi (played by Thando Walbaum) and being both delighted and surprised that he isn’t a soldier, but a German.


Destined to witness: Growing up black in Nazi... by Mariposalinda


Destined to witness: Growing up black in Nazi... by Mariposalinda


Destined to witness: Growing up black in Nazi... by Mariposalinda


Destined to witness: Growing up black in Nazi... by Mariposalinda


Destined to witness: Growing up black in Nazi... by Mariposalinda


Destined to witness: Growing up black in Nazi... by Mariposalinda


Destined to witness: Growing up black in Nazi... by Mariposalinda

This article is related to: Watch Now


Shadow & ActNewsletter