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Eddie Jaku, a Holocaust survivor and author, has died in Sydney aged 101

Eddie Jaku, a Holocaust survivor and author, has died in Sydney aged 101

Eddie Jaku, who wrote The Happiest Man on Earth, a best-selling memoir, died in Sydney, based on rumors from Jewish community leaders. He was 101 years old.

Eddie Jaku was a beacon of light and hope for not only our community, but also the entire world, New South Wales state Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Darren Bark said in op-ed.

Bark stated, He will always be remembered for the joy that followed him and his unwavering resilience in the face of adversity.

Jaku died on Tuesday.

Jakus decision to make his life a testimony of how hope and love can triumph over despair and hate was praised by Premier Scott Morrison.

He will be greatly missed by our Jewish community, and he will not be forgotten. Morrison said he was an inspiration and a joy to meet him.

Josh Frydenberg, whose Jewish-Hungarian mother survived the Holocaust and arrived in Australia in 1950 as a stateless child, said Australia has lost.

In a statement, Frydenberg stated, He dedicated his life to educating others about the dangers of intolerance and the importance of hope.

He was blinded by the past and looked only toward the future. May his tale be told for generations to come, said Frydenberg.

In a speech in Sydney in 2019, Jaku said, "I don't hate anyone." Hate is a disease that may destroy your enemy, but it will also destroy you.

Happiness does not fall from the sky. It's in your hands. Im doing everything in my power to make this world a better place for everyone, he said.

Jaku was born Abraham Adi Jakakubowiez in April 1920 in the German city of Leipzig. His parents and many of his extended family did not survive the war.

He was thrown out of school in 1933 at the age of 13 because he was Jewish, but continued his high school education in another city under an alias in 1938 with a degree in precision engineering.

Jaku said his qualifications saved him the gas chambers in the years that followed because he worked as a slave laborer.

He was sent to and escaped from concentration camps, including Buchenwald and Auschwitz, where his parents were gassed upon arrival.

As the Allies approached, he escaped from what sounded like a death march as an Auschwitz prisoner. He spent months in hiding before being found near starved and sick with cholera and typhoid by U.S. troops.

In 1946, he married Flore, who had spent a relatively uneventful war in Paris pretending to be Christian, and they moved to Australia in 1950.

Before they started working together in real estate, the husband worked in a Sydney garage and his wife as he worked as dressmaker.

He also became a volunteer at the Sydney Jewish Museum, sharing his experiences and philosophies of life with visitors, and was always marked with an Auschwitz prisoner number tattooed on his left arm.

Norman Seligman, museum chief executive, told Nine Network television that everyone who left Eddie having spoken to him felt their entire outlook on life had changed.

Jaku stated with the birth of his first son Andre, I realized I was the luckiest man on Earth.

He is survived by his wife of 75 years, his sons Andre and Michael, four grandchildren and five great grandchildren, as well as his five step-children.

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