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Book Review: The Happiest Man On Earth by Eddie Jaku

Book Review: The Happiest Man On Earth by Eddie Jaku

Book Review: The Happiest Man On Earth by Eddie Jaku

9 November 2021

The memoir of Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku OAM details how he chose to become “the happiest man on Earth”.

Reviewed by Wendy Hateley

What would cause someone who has experienced extreme atrocities to call themselves “The Happiest Man on Earth”? Well, pick up Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku’s book and you will soon find out.

A Jewish man living in late 1930s Germany, he experienced profound trauma as his friends and neighbours turned against him. Yet, as he tells us in his memoir, he found humanity in some of the most inhumane places while a prisoner of the Nazis. Basically, Eddie tells us that happiness is a choice.

For a number of years after liberation, Eddie shared he was not happy, and was “a miserable ghost”. Yet when his wife gave birth to their son and Eddie held him for the first time, he felt his heart heal. He realised how lucky he was – some of us might say how blessed he was. From that day he made a choice, and he realised how wonderful life could be if you were happy.

Eddie passed away in October at the age of 101 – and this memoir shows we can all learn something from him. While he said he could never forgive those who harmed him, he would not let their actions define the rest of his life. Our experiences shape us, but they do not define us. Just like Eddie, we can all choose to be the happiest person on Earth!

The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku (OAM) is available now at major bookstores.

MAJOR WENDY HATELEY IS THE PUBLIC RELATIONS SECRETARY FOR THE ACT.

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