Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku to be honoured with NSW state memorial service

"When he chose Australia after surviving the Holocaust, our nation gained a remarkable individual", NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said of Eddie Jaku, who passed away this month at the age of 101.

Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku died at 101 years old.

Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku died at 101 years old. Source: Getty images

Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, who died earlier this month aged 101, will be honoured with a state memorial service.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Tuesday the family of one of the state's most treasured citizens had accepted the offer of a state service.

Mr Perrottet said Mr Jaku "dedicated his life to advocating for peace and kindness".

"When he chose Australia after surviving the Holocaust, our nation gained a remarkable individual," Mr Perrottet said.

Mr Jaku was born Abraham Jakubowicz in Leipzig, Germany in 1920.

He was sent to the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald during World War II. Both his parents were murdered in the gas chamber.

After surviving the Holocaust, Mr Jaku moved to Australia in 1950 with his wife Flore.

He became a successful businessman and also established the Sydney Jewish Museum, working there as a guide for nearly three decades.

Self-proclaimed as "the happiest man on Earth", which is the title of the book he wrote at the age of 100, he made a vow to smile every day after surviving the horrors of the Holocaust. 

"Auschwitz is a death camp. I'm very lucky. I think I'm a miracle because I survived," he told SBS News in 2020 at a gathering in Sydney to mark 75 years since the liberation of the Nazi death camp.
 
"I will never understand how people the quality of Germans, who produced people like Mozart and Beethoven, had become murderers."

Mr Jaku was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2013 for his service to the Jewish community.

Details of the state memorial are yet to be released.


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Published 19 October 2021 at 4:14pm, updated 19 October 2021 at 4:18pm
Source: AAP - SBS

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