Remembering the Holocaust through the Eyes of Eddie Jaku

Everyone in life experiences upheaval, hardship, or misfortune. However, people who lived through the Holocaust went through the horrors of depravity and barbarity. How these survivors moved forward and rebuilt their lives and created new families is a testament to their strength and belief in life. 

GrantWatch currently has grants available to Israel and Europe nonprofits and social and medical institutions to provide services to survivors of the Holocaust, with priority to Jewish victims from France.

In 2005, The United Nations officially proclaimed International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) reaffirms every January 27th, its unwavering commitment to counter antisemitism. It further states that …” the Member States share a collective responsibility for addressing the residual policies, caring for historic sites, and promoting education, documentation, and research, more than seven decades after the genocide.”

This past January 27, 2002, marked, 77 years since the liberation of the Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Soviet Army. 

100-Year-Old Man Publishes a Book

Eddie Jaku wrote his autobiographical memoir at the age of one hundred. Jaku was born in Germany on April 14, 1920, and died at 101 on October 12, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. The title of his book is “The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor.”

With a title like that, the reader would think that this 100-year-old gentleman had lost all his marbles and authored a crazy book.

However, the reality was the opposite. Jaku was born in 1920 in Leipzig, Germany. He was a proud and patriotic German. His given name was Abraham Salomon Jakubowicz. Jaku considered himself, German first, German second, and then Jewish.

He was proud to come from Leipzig and that it had one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the world. This 800-year-old city was a center of art and culture. In addition, it had a famous weekly market with merchants selling anything one could imagine. 

As a youngster, he believed he lived in the best place in the world. He also believed that “harmony was a way of life” and “it was a good life for a child.”   Leipzig had amazing zoological gardens that bred African lions and bi-annual magical fairs. To him, his home country was the most educated, most enlightened, and most cultured and sophisticated place on earth.

And then it all came crumbling down.

Jaku was an engineering student in 1938 and he came home for his parents’ wedding anniversary. That night Kristallnacht broke out and his world changed forever. The illusion was over.

Over the next seven years, the author lived the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust. Beaten, arrested, and interned in a concentration camp, survived hell on earth, including the infamous Nazi death march. He lost his family, his friends, and his country. 

Every day, he managed to escape death by starvation, illness, or by the hand of a sadistic Nazi guard. And instead of dwelling on these horrors of his past, he put into words a recipe for happiness.

His book, The Happiest Man on Earth, is available on Amazon.

GrantWatch has awards available for a U.S., Canadian, or International individual for scholarly research and writing on the Holocaust. Only books containing new research on the Holocaust, or its antecedents and aftermath, will be considered.

Interested in the Book?

Jaku’s words of wisdom are important to remember. 

To quote the book’s prologue…

“My Dear New Friend. I have lived for a century, and I know what it is to stare evil in the face. I have seen the very worst in mankind, the horrors of the death camps, the Nazi efforts to exterminate my life, and the lives of my people. But I now consider myself the happiest man on Earth. Through all my years I have learned this: life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. I will tell you, my story. It is a sad one in parts, with great darkness and great sorrow. But it is a happy story in the end because happiness is something we can choose. It is up to you. I will show you how.”

GrantNews Notes

Looking for more Holocaust-related grants? GrantWatch also has grants available for Missouri nonprofits, agencies, school districts, and churches in eligible locations to enable educators to visit the United States Holocaust Museum. Additionally, there are grants available of up to $2,500 to Delaware teachers and organizations for one-time educational opportunities related to Holocaust studies.

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