Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi was born in Hamburg 1926 as child of the German nurse Bertha Baetz with the son of the Liberian Consul.
After some years of wealth in the grandfather´s consular mansion, the father´s family moved back to Liberia. The mother decided to stay in Hamburg and moved with the child to the labourer´s quarter Barmbek.
Some years later, when the Nazi´s came to power, life became harsh and dangerous for the little boy...
Massaquoi was lucky to survive both the Nazi terror regime and the devastating British bombing of Hamburg "Operation Gomorrha" in 1943. While other groups like Sinti and Roma were as systematically persecuted as the Jews, there were so few people of African descendance that the regime did not even bother to take action against them.
After end of World War 2, Massaquoi emigrated to the United States where he worked as reporter for the African-American magazine "Ebony" and participated in the Civil Rights Movement. He lives today in Florida with his family.