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Hans Massaquoi (Associated Press Photo)
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December 20, 2014

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December 20, 2014

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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Massaquoi Pages (19)
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February 3, 2013
Many of us live life leaving only footprints in the sand that wash away; but your Dad... he left footprints on stone that will affect generations to come. I was just reading his book, which I could hardly put down - only 57 pages to go - and decided to see if he was still living only to find he just passed 15 days ago in Jacksonville only 30 miles from me. What an inspiration he was, is and will be to many.
February 2, 2013
My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Massaquoi's family. My colleagues at Mount Holyoke and the greater Five-College community join me in conveying to the family our deepest sympathy. When Hans Massaquoi visited with us in 2007, he conquered all our hearts and minds almost instantly by his honesty, integrity, and human warmth. Students and faculty alike were spell-bound by his ability to talk about his experiences in Hitler Germany, by the love and the humor he displayed toward his mother and home city while maintaining a completely uncompromising stance toward an evil and inhumane regime then, and racism and crimes against humanity since then. It is difficult to articulate how wonderful it felt to engage with him after his reading in honest and sincere problem-solving dialogue; for he shared the same value system: that we would only progress and overcome latent racism as a society if we talked to each other openly rather than politely avoided to address what we consider “sensitive” issues. I wondered whether his mode of communication and mine were, after all, culturally conditioned in the same country during our childhoods (although decades apart) and therefore made me feel “at home” and comfortable—with quite uncomfortable truths he might pronounce… Perhaps it was really mostly his human kindness that proved so pervasive that everyone felt at ease discussing even highly explosive and contentious topics. Again, thank you for sharing him.

Dear Massaquoi Family,
The Department of German Studies will, during Black History Month, as befits such a wonderful role model for the Black community in both the U.S. and Germany, hold a commemorative meeting in honor of your father for students and other members of the Mount Holyoke and Five-College community this February. We will read from his book, Destined to Witness, in English, and Neger, Neger, Schornsteinfeger, in German and show clips from the German version of the filming of his book. If you would like, we can take pictures and send them to you, either post them here or convey them to you in some other manner you may name. You may truly be proud to be related to such a man. I will not forget him and am only sorry that health reasons prevented me from coming to see him and interviewing him for my studies of Germans of African heritage as we had discussed. He said he did not usually like this kind of thing but would make an exception—just as he did by signing a copy of his book for me, which I will cherish forever. Thank you for sharing him with us. He brought more light into the world, may he rest in peace. Now it is up to us, especially to those of us in education, to carry the light further.
January 30, 2013
May god rest your soul in peace my heart felt condolences to Mr. Hans jr and his family.
January 30, 2013
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
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