The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor the beautiful life of an Auschwitz survivor

by Eddie Jaku

Book, 2021



Call number



New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2021


In this uplifting memoir in the vein of The Last Lecture and Man's Search for Meaning, a Holocaust survivor pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom, and living his best possible life. Born in Leipzig, Germany, into a Jewish family, Eddie Jaku was a teenager when his world was turned upside-down. On November 9, 1938, during the terrifying violence of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Eddie was beaten by SS thugs, arrested, and sent to a concentration camp with thousands of other Jews across Germany. Every day of the next seven years of his life, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors in Buchenwald, Auschwitz, and finally on a forced death march during the Third Reich's final days. The Nazis took everything from Eddie--his family, his friends, and his country. But they did not break his spirit. Against unbelievable odds, Eddie found the will to survive. Overwhelming grateful, he made a promise: he would smile every day in thanks for the precious gift he was given and to honor the six million Jews murdered by Hitler. Today, at 100 years of age, despite all he suffered, Eddie calls himself the "happiest man on earth." In his remarkable memoir, this born storyteller shares his wisdom and reflects on how he has led his best possible life, talking warmly and openly about the power of gratitude, tolerance, and kindness. Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. With The Happiest Man on Earth, Eddie shows us how.  Filled with his insights on friendship, family, health, ethics, love, and hatred, and the simple beliefs that have shaped him, The Happiest Man on Earth offers timeless lessons for readers of all ages, especially for  young people today.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member marykuhl
This is my annual book for Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Eddie Jaku was born in Germany in 1920. He was a proud German, loved Germany, the people, the scenery, the history. He was also Jewish. In November of 1938, all that changed with Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass. Eddie's father pushed him
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to seek an education as an engineer, so he left his family and the city he loved, gave up his identity and became just a German. But there were many detours in Eddie's life, from being turned in as a German spy to eventually being found out as a Jew. Eddie ended up at Auschwitz and endured several years there. This is his story, and how his life after the concentration camp changed him into being the happiest man on Earth. I fell in love with Eddie from the first page and I am sad to say I will never meet him as he left this world in October of 2021 at the age of 101, but he had a long life. Not always good, but he made the most out of the hard times. This book is filled with wonderful quotes from Eddie and gives inspiration to everyone to make the best out of life, hug your mother, and not to hate one another. Thank you, Eddie for sharing your story.
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LibraryThing member Steven1958
Eddie, now 100 years old, recounts his life, his experiences and mental health issues caused by living through the Holocaust and World War II. At times, his story is heartbreaking, but always full of hope and love. A story never to be forgotten. A memoir for the ages.
LibraryThing member Mercef
What an amazing story. Simply told, yet very powerful. Author Eddie Jaku, survivor of WW2 concentration camps and their unfathomable tragedies, was 100 years old when this book was published. Even though I have read much about the Holocaust, this memoir was still shocking. Eddie’s recount of the
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brutal treatment of the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis is definitely worth reading.
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LibraryThing member Fliss88
Nothing I can say, will not already have been said about this amazing book. It's a horrendous story yet I came away from it feeling very positive and although deep moved, quite peaceful. Eddie Jaku proves the saying - Life Is What You Make it!

Original publication date



1760980080 / 9781760980085
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