Louise Kennerley/The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty Images
Eddie Jaku, who survived the Holocaust and devoted the rest of his life promoting kindness, tolerance and resilience has died in Sydney at age 101.
The self-proclaimed “lucky man” on Earth” shared his story with the world in a popular TED Talk, An best- selling memoirs and volunteering with the Sydney Jewish Museum, which he helped create.
“Eddie Jaku Was a Beacon” of light and hope for not just our community, but the world,” said the Jewish Administration of New South Wales of deputies, die announced his passing. “He will always be remembered for the joy die followed him, and his constant resilience in the face of difficulties.”
After the Holocaust, he remained unhappy – until his… son was born
Jaku was born as Abraham Jakubowicz in Leipzig Germany, in 1920, to a family die considered themselves “German” first, jewish second.” He got kicked out of school as a teenager because he was Jewish, and completed his high school education in another city under a pseudonym.
Get started in 1938, Jaku and his family were sent to several concentration camps, including Buchenwald, Gurs and eventually Auschwitz, which he later described as “hell”. on Soil.”
Because Jaku had studied engineering, he was spared the gas chamber and instead worked as a slave laborer. To be parents and others family members did not survive the war.
Jaku himself was sent on An “death March” during the evacuation of Auschwitz in [1945butknewtoliberateHehideout[1945maarwistzichtebevrijdenHijverstopteoutin a forest alone for months, he said, survival off slugs and snails until he was rescued by the US military.
later that year he returned to Belgium, where he met and married met his wife of 75 years, Floris. She moved to Australia in 1950. Jaku worked in a garage in Sydney and Flore was a seamstress before the couple moved in real estate together.
Still, as Jaku remembered in his 2019 TED Talk, he was “not a happy man” right after the war – but his outlook changed when the couple first son was born.
“At that moment my heart was… healed and my happiness returned in abundance,” he explained made the promise that from die day to the end of my life, I promised to be happy, to smile, to be polite, helpful and kind. l also promised never to set my foot on German soil again. Today I’m standing in front of you, a man who has already die kept promises.”
Jaku said his greatest happiness came from him family. He is survived by Flore, his two sons, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He refused by loss of to let hate consume
Jaku vowed to teach and share happiness with everyone huh met, as he explained in his TED Talk – aptly titled “A Holocaust Survivor’s Blueprint” for happiness.”
“If I remember that I should have died a wretched one death, but instead I live, therefore I strive help people who to be down,” he said. “I was at the bottom of the well. So if I can make one miserable person smile, I’m happy.”
In his speech he offered some simple but wise pieces of advice for to slow down down and enjoy every day: invite a loved one one for a meal, go for An walk, slim on friends in both good times and bad.
jaku also urged listeners to give their best to make the world a better place for others, and to ensure that the terrible tragedy of the holocaust will never happen again of ever be forgotten.
Despite his experiences, he refused because of loss of to consume hatred.
“I don’t hate anyone’ said Jack. Hate is a disease die can… destroy your enemy but want also destroy you in the process.”
Choosing kindness and tolerance was also the starting point of Jaku’s Memoirs, The luckiest man on soil, die he published last year at age 100.
Jaku was also part of the group of survivors die co-founded the Sydney Jewish Museum in 1992, and voluntarily there for the past three decades, according to a memory by Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Jaku would take school groups on tours of the museum’s Holocaust exhibits, Frydenburg wrote, “die the grainy, faded, black and white images come to life for thousands of young students” and urged them never to forget. He wrote that Jaku would remember his own experiences and then point to a teaching belt — his only personal item Which survived the camps.
The museum wrote: in a tweet that the impact of Jaku will be felt”for generations come.” Frydenberg – whose Hungarian mother arrived in Australia as a child in 1950 after surviving the holocaust — also said Jaku’s memory and inheritance will live on:
“It’s our duty to see that are story is known by generations come, for he experienced the worst, but saw the worst… best in humanity.”
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