Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you.
Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed in November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp.
Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country.
Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the 'happiest man on earth'.
Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE INDIE BOOK AWARDS FOR NON-FICTION 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR ABIA BIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR 2021
LONGLISTED FOR MATT RICHELL AWARD FOR NEW WRITER OF THE YEAR 2021
Praise for The Happiest Man on Earth
'This simple, moving account of a remarkable life offers plenty to think about and reflect on . . . Highly recommended.' Canberra Weekly
'I have never met Eddie Jaku, but having read his book I feel like I have made a new friend . . . This is
a beautiful book by a truly amazing man.' Daily Telegraph
'A reminder of the power of love, kindness and hope . . . A life-affirming story, beautifully told.' Sydney Morning Herald
'Jaku's memoir can be our private celebration of evil that was ultimately vanquished.' Country Style
'His tale is compelling and particularly pertinent as we struggle to make sense of challenging times.' Weekend Post
'He acknowledges suffering but resists being defined by it, adhering instead to his philosophy of choosing a radical form of humanity, a resistance both potent and infectious.' Australian Book Review
'What an amazing, beautiful human' Magda Szubanski
'A beautiful soul' Lisa Wilkinson
'Eddie is a human diamond, and his story of survival, hope and the importance of kindness is what the world needs now.' Zoë Foster Blake
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A memoir like no other, The Happiest Man on Earth pays serene tribute to the power of hope, friendship and the will to survive. Sharing his inspiring life story at the age of 100, Eddie Jaku covers the absolute extremes of the human journey. Imprisoned in concentration camps for seven years during the Second World War, the German native promised himself he would smile every day after escaping. He was eventually able to migrate to Sydney and build a family, but never forgot the hardship and injustice of the Holocaust. Writing with warmth and directness, Jaku makes a strong case for choosing optimism and self-belief over the darker alternatives.
This was a wonderful book that touched me and made me feel grateful for everything I have.
What a legend!
Read this in 24hrs, couldn’t put it down. What a lovely human Mr Jaku is!!!
I read this book in 2 days. Helped me deal with hard days working away on the mines. Reminded me that money is not happiness.