Another Weekend Read

I downloaded an audible book this week and went through it fairly quickly as it isn’t overly long but what a sobering story it is.

Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you. 

From Booktopia:

“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 march. He lost family, friends, his country. 

Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’. 

Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.

About the Author

Eddie Jaku OAM, was born Abraham Jakubowicz in Germany in 1920. In World War 2, Eddie was imprisoned in Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps. In 1945, he was sent on a ‘death march’ but escaped. Finally, he was rescued by Allied soldiers. In 1950 he moved with family to Australia where he has lived since. Eddie has volunteered at the Sydney Jewish Museum since its inception in 1992. Edie has been married to Flore for 74 years. They have two sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren. In 2020 Eddie celebrates his 100th birthday.”


This was a story I had to grit my teeth before I started it. I really hate reading about the holocaust but I know how important it is for people to learn as much as they can about. it. Also it is this man’s life goal to tell people his story. He was captured in 1938 and endured the most incredibly, mind bending horrors I have ever read. Yet he survived. Not only has he survived but he is now turning 100 years old and he continually tells people his story.

With what is currently happening in this world the time could never be better than it is now. It will always be a relevant tale I am sure.

I won’t describe it anymore than I have because I can’t do his story justice. I will say it is a story filled with hope. It is important. The author is a truly remarkable man and what can be learned from this book is that attitude is incredibly important. It puts everything people are going through now into perspective. This will most likely be my most important reads of the year. I hope others bite the bullet and read it

Having visited Auschwitz I had those images in my mind. It was such an important place to visit and reflect upon and shouldn’t be considered simply a tourist destination.

Enough said.

12 thoughts on “Another Weekend Read

  1. i can’t read books like this… the imagery stays in my mind for years and it’s all just too painful… bunnies and rabbits for me, i’m afraid…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand how that goes. I was surprised I was drawn to it. But with the author now being 100 yrs old I was interested in how he is after so many years. He is an inspiring man and I just loved him.


  2. Books like this are painful, I agree – but I also agree they’re necessary. I’ve read a fair amount of Holocaust writing in my time – most notably, I would say, Primo Levi – and even though we know what was done, the horror never diminishes (and I found that with a recent read, East West Street by Philippe Sands). What an inspiring man.

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  3. Another memoir by a Holocaust survivor is The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger. It is life-changing. It impacted my life so greatly I had to and did send hard copies to fifteen people who, in turn, also bought copies for people they know.

    Yes, by virtue of her being an Holocaust survivor, we know she suffered horrors, but they are not her focus, so the reader needn’t approach the book with shudders at reading of brutality. Rather, her focus is healing and showing others how to do so through her story and the stories of those she has clinically treated. Her memoir is a gift, a treasure full of profound wisdom.

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  4. I’m the sort who feels I need to read these stories if people feel the need to write them – that’s the least I can do but I do appreciate that some people can’t manage to read such grim stuff. I do like stories where people are able to rise above the horror that was done to them and project love and hope to others.

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    1. I feel the same… but I don’t think I could ever muster the courage to visit Auschwitz. I couldn’t even visit the Holocaust Museum here in Melbourne without a supportive friend, and it haunts me still.


      1. I read so much about the holocaust when much longer, then nothing since. This author is so inspiring. One of the memories that stands out for me from Auschwitz is the group of students walking into it, laughing fooling around, being silly , then their faces once they came out. Solemn, arms around each other, crying. It impacted on them and I diubt they will ever forget it. We went through Schindler’s museum a,so while in Krakow. Another interesting memorial. Now I’ve had enough again.


  5. I have a similar hesitation about reading books detailing life in concentration camps. The insight into how people were treated beforehand is something that does interest me, but when it gets into the specifics about the atrocities in the camps, I find it too much to deal with. This man does sound remarkable though.

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    1. Very much so. What I can’t understand is how so many were friends as Germans, then once the war began they could kill and torture each other. As they became divided. That astounds me.


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