) was a German American journalist and author. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, to a white German mother and Liberian Vai father, the grandson of Momulu Massaquoi, the consul general of Liberia in Germany at the time.
In his autobiography, Destined to Witness, Massaquoi describes his childhood and youth in Hamburg during the Nazi rise to power. His biography provides a unique point of view: he was one of very few German-born biracial children in all of Nazi Germany, shunned, but not persecuted by the Nazis. This dichotomy remained a key theme throughout his whole life.
Massaquoi lived a simple, but happy childhood with his mother, Bertha Baetz. His father, Al-Haj Massaquoi, was a law student in Dublin who only occasionally lived with the family at the consul general home in Hamburg. Eventually, the consul general was recalled to Liberia, and Hans Massaquoi and his mother remained in Germany.
The daily life of the young Massaquoi was remarkable. He was one of the few mixed race children in Nazi Germany, and like most of the other children his age, he thought about joining the Hitler Youth. There was a school contest to see if a class could get a 100% membership of the Deutsches Jungvolk (a subdivision of Hitler Youth) and Massaquoi's teacher devised a chart on the blackboard which showed who had joined and who had not. As this was filled in after each person joined, Massaquoi felt left out, and he recalled saying, "But I am German...my Mother says I'm German just like anybody else". He then persuaded his mother to let him join the Jungvolk. He went to register at the nearest office but he faced hostility.