Holocaust Survivor and ‘Happiest Man on Earth’ Passes Away at 101

Stand for Israel  |  October 13, 2021

Railway to Auschwitz, where Eddie Jaku was held during Holocaust

Each soul who survived the Holocaust is able to teach the world so much, not just about that dark chapter in history, but about perseverance, about life, about faith. Eddie Jaku, who survived four concentration camps, was just such a person, living his long life to teach the world about kindness.

Sadly, with each day, we lose more of these precious survivors. The Jerusalem Post reports that Eddie Jaku, a survivor who would call himself “The Happiest Man on Earth” has died at the age of 101. May his life be an inspiration and his memory be a blessing:

Jaku was born Abraham “Adi” Jakubowiez in Leipzig, Germany. He earned a high school engineering degree that he said later helped him survive in Nazi concentration camps, since his slave labor was valuable, according to the Associated Press.

He was sent to multiple camps, including Buchenwald and Auschwitz, and escaped from what he suspected was a death march in the latter as Allied soldiers approached…

Jaku said that after the birth of his first son — he would have another — he “realized I was the luckiest man on Earth.”

That sentiment was evident in the title of his book, which was translated and published in over 30 countries, from the U.S. to Europe to Asia. An updated version, with additional photos and more of Jaku’s story, including the fate of his sister, which was left out of the original publication — something that fans have been clamoring for since the book became a best seller, according to his son Michael — will be published next month.

“Life is what you want it to be, life is in your hands,” Jaku wrote in his book. “You know happiness doesn’t fall from the sky. It’s in your hands. You want to be happy? You can be happy…”

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.