Eddie Jaku nominated for the NSW Senior of the Year award.

October 30, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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After enduring years of unimaginable horror, 99-year-old Holocaust survivor, public speaker and self-proclaimed ‘happiest man on earth’, Eddie Jaku, vowed to smile every day.

Eddie Jaku  Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Born Abraham Jakubowicz in 1920, Eddie was arrested by Nazis in 1938 and sent to German concentration camp Buchenwald. After being released, he was captured again in France. On route to Auschwitz in Poland, he managed to escape to Belgium, hiding with his parents and sister.

In October 1943, the family were arrested and again sent to the horrors of Auschwitz, where his parents were both murdered. Sent on a death march in 1945, Eddie escaped again by hiding in a forest eating slugs and snails until he was rescued by American soldiers.

Eddie married another Holocaust survivor, Flore, in 1945. They moved to Australia in 1950 and had two sons, later becoming grandparents and then great-grandparents. Eddie speaks for those who did not survive. His message is one of tolerance, understanding, friendship and humanity.


Eddie Jaku told J-Wire: “For me, it was a great surprise and unexpected. But I am very happy to be recognised for the work I do. If I win or not it is a great honour to be part of the last four. We will see.”

One of the individual State winners become the Senior Australian of the Year.

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