Destined to Witness

  • by Hans Massaquoi
  • Narrated by Peter Jay Fernandez
  • 19 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What would life be like for a black boy growing up in Nazi Germany? This unprecedented autobiography answers that question with the spellbinding true story of Hans J. Massaquoi’s life in Hamburg during the height of Hitler’s regime.
Hans is the son of a black Liberian diplomat father and a white German mother. His father returns to Africa at the beginning of the war, leaving them behind in poverty and without the means to flee. Bewildered, Hans is force-fed ceaseless anti-semitic and anti-African propaganda in his schools. Within this tense atmosphere, increasingly violent Nazi policies and Allied bombing raids make Hans and his mother’s lives a desperate day-to-day struggle for survival.
Through countless close calls, Hans perseveres by his ingenuity, strength of character and a liberal dose of good luck - eventually going on to find his father in Liberia and emigrate to America.
Peter Jay Fernandez’s intense narration brilliantly punctuates all of the tragedy and triumph in this monumental audiobook. More

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Great Read

What did you love best about Destined to Witness?

The story was well written and you could feel the reality of his day to day existence. His story was so much like many of ours, except he was in an entirely different environment.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hans, his willingness to open up and share his personal experiences, the good the bad and the foolish, it took a lot of courage. He was a lucky fellow to have survied the many close encounters with almost certain disaster.

What about Peter Jay Fernandez’s performance did you like?

The narration was good. I read the hard copy afterwards, which was more enjoyable after hearing some of the German phrases.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

This would be a really entertaining movie. BLACK KID IN NAZIS GERMANY? or
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Black in Nazis Germany

Any additional comments?

A unique fascinating story. It makes you wonder what other stories are out there, that we just don't know about and what were there outcomes. I recommend this to everyone.

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Destined to Witness - a Gripping biography

What made the experience of listening to Destined to Witness the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed Mr. Massaquoi's introspection, and his willingness to acknowledge his mistakes without beating himself up or excusing them. Things were the way they were, and- good, bad or ugly - everyone had to try and survive in nazi Germany even if one's race made them an obvious potential target.

What does Peter Jay Fernandez bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I have never listened to his performances, but I will definitely check them out soon. His German is a little awkward, but this is a minor quibble in a stellar performance.

Any additional comments?

This book made me think about how any culture views race. Even as a white person, my lack of acknowledgement of race is, by itself, a comment on my racial views. I will pick up this book again.

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- Daryl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-26-2013
  • Publisher: Recorded Books