Friday, December 21, 2007


Merry Christmas Eve Weekend!

Yup, I'm still at work. 1/4 of our grad students are here today so I'm rocking out by my 25% self. I actually don't mind work by myself. I can play whatever I want on the radio. It's "quiet". (The drone of the hoods is always there) Um, I guess that's it. J has threatened me with violence if I go home early today. Since she has to work a full day, I do as well. I did sleep in a bit though (8 am) and didn't make it out of the house until 9:45ish what with showering, playing with the cats, scooping their litter boxes and washing the dishes. Tonight we'll be packing and cleaning the house. J loves coming home to a clean house and it's hard to argue with. Nothing is worse after a long road trip than coming home and cleaning for an hour or two to get the house liveable again.

I snagged the department laptop, and since the office is closed next week, it's mine for almost 2 weeks! Hooray! Yes, we might be getting J a laptop for Christmas, but this will keep us typing until then. Laptops are just easier and more convenient for traveling, obviously. In fact I had(have) a bad habit of pointing out or stating the obvious and therefore garnered the nickname of Captain Obvious. That was in high school if memory serves.

I finished Hans Jurgen Massaquoi's book, Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany. For some reason I expected a first hand account of the Holocaust, but instead was greeted with a much larger story about Hans and how he was raised in Germany, watched it slowly morph into Nazi Germany, surviving WWII, surviving the horrible food shortages after WWII and then following him on his harrowing adventures across the globe, from Germany to Liberia to Nigeria to the USA and eventually back to Germany. I recall one passage from the book where a co-worker at a factory in the States was warning him about the Jews and that Hitler had the right idea. Needless to say it completely shocked Hans, who barely escaped Nazi Germany alive, and destroyed his idyllic image of America being the land of the free and equality. He's a big proponent of accepting and learning about other cultures because if you don't, it really isn't much of a stretch to go from "those damn Jews" to the Holocaust. It only took Germany 12 years.

I don't really know why I expected a first hand account of the Holocaust. He mentions seeing trucks full of emaciated people and then later, those same trucks completely empty. He also shared a story of him taking a stroll toward a mountain whose name escapes me and being stopped at the gate. But really, if you were committing genocide would you let some teenager stroll through your operation? Yeah, neither would Hitler.

A big thanks to Hans Jurgen Massaquoi for sharing his stories and maybe one day I'll return the favor.

Hans is married and has 2 sons, a doctor and a lawyer.

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