Eddie Jaku, a Holocaust survivor who called himself “the happiest guy on the planet,” died at the age of 101.
Jaku had been in Australia since 1950 and died at a care home in Sydney. Flore, his 75-year-old wife, and their sons Michael and Andre, as well as four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, survive him.
Jaku was imprisoned in four detention camps during WWII.
He led a daring train escape, escaped a death march, and survived in a forest, in addition to his torture in various detention camps.
Since that day, Jaku has committed the remainder of his life to promoting peace and goodwill.
“I don’t despise anyone. Hate is a sickness that will not only kill your enemy, but will also kill you “he stated
Jaku was born Abraham Jakubowicz in Leipzig, Germany, in 1920. He was the only Jewish student at his school, although he claimed that this was not a problem until Adolf Hitler took control.
Jaku’s family sent him to a boarding school, where he took the nickname Walter Schleif to avoid others discovering his Jewishness.
He studied mechanical engineering, but no one was home when he returned home on November 9, 1938, to surprise his parents on their wedding anniversary.
On Kristallnacht, the ‘Night of Broken Glass,’ Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues across Germany and Austria were targeted. Thousands of Jews were picked up and transferred to concentration camps, and many were slaughtered.
His life has never been the same since then.
To commemorate his 100th birthday in 2020, Jaku wrote his memoir, ‘The Happiest Man on Earth,’ which chronicled his incredible narrative of survival.
Jaku became one of the world’s oldest published authors as a result of the memoir.
“I’ve been alive for a century, and I know what it’s like to fight evil,” he wrote.
“I’ve witnessed the worst of humanity, including the atrocities of death camps and Nazi attempts to exterminate my life and the lives of all others. However, I now consider myself to be the happiest man on the planet.”