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The Happiest Man on Earth

4.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,814 ratings  ·  215 reviews
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,
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by Macmillan Australia
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Average rating 4.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,814 ratings  ·  215 reviews

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Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
In the few hours it took me to read this book I made a new friend, his name is Eddie, and I am sharing his story with you because I believe it deserves to be heard. We not only need to understand how he survived, but people also need to hear how he values friendship and kindness.

The Happiest Man on Earth is a story of survival.

It’s barely imaginable.

I am not going to go deeper into Eddie’s story because he is the only person that can tell it accurately. I can tell you that he shows strength, he
Pan Macmillan Australia
Eddie is just amazing. I sobbed, I chuckled and I wondered how he could possibly be so positive. His survival is testament to how he approached life and survived a darkest of times. He makes you think that our current situation is heaven compared to those dark years. A fantastic book that should give all of us a chance to think and be grateful for where we are now. I can't recommend this enough especially as May marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.

- Robin
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

4.5 stars

‘Through all the years I have learned this: life can beautiful if you make it beautiful.’

As soon as you open The Happiest Man on Earth, a 2020 Pan Macmillan Australia publication, you will gain a new life coach in Eddie Jaku. Eddie, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday, is a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Eddie is also a Holocaust survivor, with an infectious mantra on happiness that should be followed by all citize
Colleen Fauchelle
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. Sometimes it takes courage to keep going in horrible situations, but this lovely man proves it is possible and you can still see good in the hard days. We do make mountains out of moll hills sometimes and it’s good to read book that shows you your life is easy compared with those during the Second World War. This lovely man will teach you courage and what it takes to survive.
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brilliant book, throughly enjoyed it and highly recommend. It’s an inspirational story of courage, friendship, hope and resilience.

This is one of the best books I have read this year and I’ve read 102! So this is no light praise. I want to thank Eddie for sharing his holocaust survivor story with the world.

This story is misleading if you went by the title of the book alone. The Happiest Man On Earth. Thankfully, the blurb gives information about the book and we soon realise that this is biography of Eddie who is a holocaust survivor.

The story is grim and heartbreaking, but overall it is a story of hope. “Life can be beaut
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, 2020-books
Listened to this in one sitting, and gosh, my heart did quiver.

Powerful and heartbreaking and yet an uplifting memoir.

Eddie Jaku a holocaust survivor recounts his time in Buchenwald and Auschwitz.

Have tissues handy as you’ll be sobbing during the reading of this tale.

Eddie Jaku is a beautiful and awesome human being!

Born in Leipzig, Germany but has lived the last 70 years happily in Australia.

An incredible story. A story everyone should read.
Louise Fisher
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

First up let me tell you ... Eddie has just written his life story at .... yes ..... the sensational age of 100 YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!

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
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I adored this little book. Would highly recommend.
Eve Dangerfield
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I always tell my children 'I brought you into this world because I wanted to love you, you owe me nothing but that.'
So much crying. Such an incredible story. Live another 100 years Eddie.
Esther King
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am one of the children that went to the Sydney Jewish Museum in my school years and, I’m reasonably sure, saw Eddie speak. He has an incredible capacity to find joy in life irrespective of what he has faced, an irrepressible love for life. It is, quite simply, incredible. And, of course, so is this book.

There are no punches pulled here with his story. Everything is laid out simply and factually, but Eddie does not complain about what happened to him- rather, he finds light and joy in everythi
Sharlene Mik
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
PSA: don’t read this book in public (unless you want to end up a blubbering mess). I couldn’t stop turning the pages of this book which I completely consumed in 3 hours and I have no words for how touched I was and and how deeply grateful it left me feeling for the life I get to live. Eddie Jaku is the bravest and most humble man I’ve ever read about and his story puts everything into perspective. Through the telling of his pain of enduring the Holocaust, he talks about how he has always maintai ...more
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
REVIEW; ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The happiest man on earth - Eddie Jaku

How does one review what is possibly the greatest story ever told?

Firstly, thank you Eddie for sharing your story about what is one of the most devastating & regretful pieces of world history. I don’t think there is anyone in the world who wouldn’t be moved by your courage & determination, your sacrifice & love for your family & friends. You even took in complete strangers & helped them survive.

Your attitu
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew nothing about Eddie Jaku's story before picking up this book. I wasn't aware of his TEDx talk or that his portrait was featured in the Sydney Jewish Museum. I picked this up wishing to get some notes from the wisdom of the Happiest Man on Earth as he turned 100 years old.

And boy, what a wisdom. There were so many quote-worthy paragraphs, I couldn't even pick a favourite. Here's an example:
Kindness is the greatest wealth of all. Small acts of kindness last longer than a lifetime. This
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have just spent that best part of the day unable to put down Eddie Jaku's The Happiest Man on Earth. I am still crying but also filled with hope and ever grateful for those around me. If you don't know who Eddie is and his story, you really should. A beacon of light especially in our current political climate where a supposed leader of the free world is telling white supremacists to "stand by" 🖤🌿 "I also want to say to you never give up on hope. It is never too late to be kind, polite, and a l ...more
Navlene Singh
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible man with an incredible story. Everyone should read this book!
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing man! After all the horrors that he experienced, Eddie never became inhuman, always holding tightly to his morals & helping his fellow prisoners where possible. Eddie knows the true value of family & friendships & teaches us that we can all be decent human beings by always being kind, respectful & loving one another.
Highly recommend.
Sarah Pitcairn
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a phenomenal story - this is a must read!!
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not only is this a beautiful book to hold and receive. This book is one of the most lovely books I’ve ever read. It’s a story of survival. It’s a story of focussing on the positives we have. It’s a story about what hate and fear can look like. I made a new friend in Eddie, I’ve made a promise to myself to continue my life with Eddie in my ear. Amazing story of resilience. A definite must read for everyone!!
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written book that is especially poignant with all that is happening in the world right now. A story of great resilience, hope, faith, kindness and generosity. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book in one sitting, but even though this is one of great sadness and suffering, the overwhelming tone is one of determination to live the best - and happiest - life possible. Eddie certainly achieves this. This story will stay with me forever.

“You have to try to be happy with what you’
Aug 06, 2020 added it
The release of Jaku's Holocaust memoir during the pandemic was well-timed. His exuberant optimism and personal messages of hope to his reader, whom he calls his "new friend", will undoubtedly earn him affection and respect. In showing how he rebuilt his life after the horror of the Holocaust and the murder of 6,000,000 Jews (including his own family), readers are inspired to apply his mindset to the unprecedented circumstances of our present world. Because the purpose and strength of his writing ...more
David McDonald
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I cannot oversell this book! I left its final pages in quiet contemplation as I tried to piece together my fractured emotional state.
Eddie Jaku retells his story of surviving the holocaust but written exactly how you would imagine a 100-year-old man who just wants to get to the point may write. It's heart breaking but somehow also heart-warming. It's written somewhat like this;

we were forced onto a train and had no room to stand, we were taken back to Germany, I knew I would die, so I decided t
Leanne Cramond
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow...just wow...

I am finding it hard to find words that describe this. It is so simply written, yet every sentence is packed with powerfully moving scenes and descriptions of the sheer brutality of the Holocaust. I went through the spectrum of emotions reading this. I actually cried in many parts, not the least when he had finally given up the will to live and was picked up from the road by Russians in a tank and he weighed a tiny 28 kilos. Yet, for all the horrors this man has witnessed and ex
Jacob Langham
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a recount of a story shattered by heartbreak and cruelty yet defined by hope, love and friendship. The overwhelming positivity sprinkled throughout this story really epitomises the person Eddie is. This is a man who has experienced unforgettable cruelty at the hands of truly evil people and has yet vowed to himself to be grateful, kind and polite. He is also such a good example of what an uplifting and positive mindset can do for your health. This man is 100 and could pass for 60. You’ve ga ...more
Allara Bamforth
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a levelling book to read at this time. An amazing story of endurance and resilience, survival and prosperity. With so many leaders out there spouting hate and fear, they should take a leaf out of Eddie Jaku’s memoir. On a personal note Eddie reminded me very much of my own grandfather who was a migrant after WW2 and that brought a few tears to my eyes.
Hamish Grable
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
@menreadtoo_au on Instagram!

#thehappiestmanonearth #eddiejaku @cate_blake @liampieperwrites @macmillanaus #panmacmillanaustralia
“In my mind, this is really the best revenge, and it is the only revenge I am interested in - to be the happiest man on earth”
It’s hard to believe the optimism, resilience and gratitude that illuminates the pages of Eddie Jaku’s memoir, reflecting on his time during the Holocaust
Certainly his experiences highlight the power of mindset exclaiming, “Happiness doe
Amy Lynch
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow wow wow. What an absolutely remarkable story of survival, of love, of happiness and of what it means to live. I finished this book in one night and I feel it has changed my perspective on so many aspects of history. I learned so much about things I could never even comprehend, and have learned the true meaning of resilience. I would recommend this to everyone - read Eddies story and learn about his journey - and take note of his words about happiness and life and love.

“Happiness does not fa
Michelle Mackenzie
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a young person who doesn’t know much about WWII or the holocaust, I found it an incredible read knowing that this is part of history. Who knew humans could be such savages to one another. Through the eyes of a survivor, a snapshot of what life is like in the death camps has been described and what an eye opener it is to read.

The book is very well written and structured with each chapter containing a common theme. Some form of life lesson, which is rather inspirational. It’s one of those book
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A sensational and sad story documenting this mans life through one of the worlds greatest atrocities. When a person goes through that hell on earth and spends the rest of his life sharing the message to love and not hate, we should listen. We should listen very carefully so we never, ever repeat that mistake again. As Eddie says ‘hate is like a cancer.’ We don’t need to forgive atrocities and we should never forget them but we should never hate as it is an emotion that festers, spreads and kills ...more
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
This is one of the best reads in a very long time. Simply could not stop reading. Sad and heartbreaking yet with a message of hope, gratitude and kindness, even after what he has been through. What a man, what a story. Inspirational! Keep telling these stories, and no one that reads this will ever forget it. Each of us owes it to him, the millions that lost their lives, and to our society into the future-Never forget, never again! Remarkable
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