Eddie Jaku, Holocaust survivor and Happiest Man on Earth author, dies age 101


BREAKING NEWS: Holocaust survivor and author of bestselling book ‘The Happiest Man on Earth’ dies age 101

  • Australian Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku has died, it was confirmed on Tuesday
  • Mr Jaku had experienced the horrors at Auschwitz and Buchenwald camps 


Australian Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku – known for his bestseller ‘the Happiest Man on Earth’ – has died age 101.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his death on Tuesday and called him an ‘inspiration and a joy’.

‘Having survived the Holocaust, Eddie chose to make his life a testimony of how hope and love can triumph over despair and hate,’ he said. 

‘He will be sadly missed, especially by our Jewish community. He was an inspiration and a joy.

‘Shalom Eddie and thank you for your great gift to us all and our sincere condolences to all your loving family and friends.’ 

Australian Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku – known for his bestseller ‘the Happiest Man on Earth’ – has died age 101

Mr Jaku was born in Germany and experienced the horrors of the nazis at Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps during World War II while aged in his 20s.

He survived a death march and was rescued by allied soldiers before he moved to Australia in 1950 to start a new life. 

Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg paid tribute to the 101-year-old, saying that Australia had ‘lost a giant’ with his death.

‘He dedicated his life to educating others about the dangers of intolerance & the importance of hope,’ he said.

‘Scarred by the past, he only looked forward. May his story be told for generations to come.’

Mr Jaku published his book ‘The Happiest Man on Earth’ last year at the age of 100. 

The cover shows the number that was tattooed on to his forearm during his time held captive in German concentration camps.

Mr Jaku, who was a great grandfather, volunteered for decades at the Sydney Jewish Museum and celebrated his 101st birthday in April. 

‘Life is what you want it to be,’ he said during a Zoom call with the museum last year.

‘Life is in your hands. Happiness doesn’t fall from the sky. You want to be happy? You can be happy.’ 

More to come 

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