Eddie Jaku, former inmate of the German Auschwitz camp and witness to the Holocaust, died in Sydney at the age of 101. Jaku was the author of the diary “The happiest man on earth”, in which he talked about finding goodness and hope in life.
– Australia has lost a great man. He has devoted his life to educating others about the dangers of intolerance and the essence of hope, said Josh Frydenberg, Australian Treasury Minister, whose Hungarian mother also survived the Holocaust. Terrified of the past, he only looked to the future. May his story be told to the next generations – added the minister.
Jaku, or rather Abraham Jakubowicz, was born in April 1920 in Leipzig, Germany. In 1933, he was expelled from school because of his Jewish origin. Under a changed name, he managed to complete his education five years later as a mechanic. The author of the diary claimed that due to the qualifications he had obtained, he managed to avoid death in concentration camps where he was sent to forced labor.
He lost his family in the camps
Jaku was a prisoner of the German camps Buchenwald and Auschwitz, where he lost his family. He escaped from both of them. With his wife, whom he met after the war, he emigrated to Australia in 1950, where he worked in car repair shops.
– I don’t hate anyone. Hatred is a plague that can destroy your enemy, but also you, Jaku said during his Sydney speech in 2019.
In September this year, Jaku’s diary “Najfortunszy man on the Earth” was published in Polish, in which he talked about finding goodness and hope in life.
The deceased left a wife, two sons, four grandsons and five great-grandchildren.
Main photo source: Sydney Jewish Museum / AP / East News