Skip to comments.Eddie Jaku, Holocaust Survivor Who Called Himself 'the Happiest Man on Earth' Dies Aged 101
Posted on 10/12/2021 1:50:10 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, who described himself as "the happiest man on Earth", has died, aged 101.
The Sydney Jewish Museum, where Mr Jaku still worked as a volunteer, said his passing "left a huge void in the hearts" of everyone there.
"Eddie's impact will be felt for generations to come," said a message posted on social media.
He was born in Germany and under the Nazis was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp and later to Auschwitz, where his parents were murdered in the gas chambers.
Having narrowly survived, he moved to Australia during the 1950s, where he dedicated his life to teaching others about the dangers of intolerance.
"This is my message, as long as I live, I'll teach not to hate," he wrote in his autobiography, published last year to mark his 100th birthday.
Mr Jaku said he was the "happiest man" despite the horrors he witnessed in the concentration camps.
"Life is what you want it to be, life is in your hands," he said.
"You know happiness doesn’t fall from the sky. It’s in your hands. You want to be happy? You can be happy."
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Australia had "lost a giant".
"He dedicated his life to educating others about the dangers of intolerance and the important of hope," he said in a post on social media.
"May his story be told for generations to come."
The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies said he had been "a beacon of light and hope".
"He will always be remembered for the joy that followed him, and his constant resilience in the face of adversity," the Board wrote.
"The world is a little less bright without him in it and we will always treasure the memories and stories we were privileged to have heard."
His memoir, called The Happiest Man on Earth, chronicled his extraordinary tale of survival.
It described how towards the end of the war, Eddie Jaku escaped a death march from Auschwitz and hid in a cave in a forest, where he survived by eating slugs and snails.
Eventually, he managed to crawl to a highway where he was rescued by American soldiers.
It was then that he decided that the best revenge would be to live and enjoy life.
He later married and went on to become a father and a grandfather.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Mr Jaku's life had been "an inspiration and a joy".
"Eddie chose to make his life a testimony of how hope and love can triumph over despair and hate," Mr Morrison said in a post on Facebook.
Although there are few of these survivors left, in my neighborhood there are several. Their inner strength is amazing and should never be forgotten.
R I P
>>It was then that he decided that the best revenge would be to live and enjoy life.
I don’t know, glad he found his joy in the world after having suffered so much, but I on the other hand believe the best revenge is tracking down your enemies and killing them....and then enjoying life; but hey, thats me.
I met a survivor here in AZ.
She was on the last train out of Poland heading to Russia.
They blew up the bridge after the train passed over it.
She spent the war in Russia working in a plant making weapons.
She said it was mostly slave labor but at least she was alive.
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