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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Best Seller

In this uplifting memoir in the vein of The Last Lecture and Man’s Search for Meaning, a Holocaust survivor pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom, and living his best possible life.

Born in Leipzig, Germany, into a Jewish family, Eddie Jaku was a teenager when his world was turned upside-down. On November 9, 1938, during the terrifying violence of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Eddie was beaten by SS thugs, arrested, and sent to a concentration camp with thousands of other Jews across Germany. Every day of the next seven years of his life, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors in Buchenwald, Auschwitz, and finally on a forced death march during the Third Reich’s final days. The Nazis took everything from Eddie - his family, his friends, and his country. But they did not break his spirit.

Against unbelievable odds, Eddie found the will to survive. Overwhelming grateful, he made a promise: he would smile every day in thanks for the precious gift he was given and to honor the six million Jews murdered by Hitler. Today, at 100 years of age, despite all he suffered, Eddie calls himself the “happiest man on earth.” In his remarkable memoir, this born storyteller shares his wisdom and reflects on how he has led his best possible life, talking warmly and openly about the power of gratitude, tolerance, and kindness. Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. With The Happiest Man on Earth, Eddie shows us how. 

Filled with his insights on friendship, family, health, ethics, love, and hatred, and the simple beliefs that have shaped him, The Happiest Man on Earth offers timeless lessons for readers of all ages, especially for young people today.

©2020 Eddie Jaku (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Happiest Man on Earth

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Wow! For anyone struggling, suffering now or in past. 10 Stars!

What an incredible story. EVERYONE needs to read this book. Beautiful. Horrific. Fulfilling and incredibly inspiring!!

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  • Christan Derryberry
  • 2021-05-12

Everyone needs to listen to this amazing man

His story forever changed my life. The most beautiful human. The most amazing story. The most amazing words. Thank you, Mr. Jaku. ❤️

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ann Nominus
  • 2021-09-19

Exemplary hero

Mr. Jaku's gentle perspective opens every aspect of living fully in all moments. His a hard won happiness. Most of us will never experience such terrible challenges. Yet knowing that there is a person who has suffered so very much and upon reflection honored his personal promise to smile each day . . . reminds me of my father's favorite song: "Powder your face with sunshine. Put on a great big smile . . . " As a parent myself, I sang the same song to my children and to my students. Especially now when a teenager's entire world is in the palm of the hand, it's a challenge to link with each other in relational ways. Smiles and joyous laughter are more important than ever!!

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  • Eduardo Colón
  • 2021-09-13

This should be read by everyone worldwide.

One of the best stories I've listened to in my life. I loved it

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-09-08

Great story, uplifting

I liked the book overall and I’m glad to get to see a different perspective of life which I needed it the most.

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  • Kimra Pedersen
  • 2021-09-05

You Must Read Eddie’s Story

I’m like many others who listens to audible survivor stories and then I move in to the next. It’s impossible not to respect, like, and feel like he’d have been a great friend if I ever visited Australia.
He’s over 100!
The narrator is fabulous and although I learned new lows that theSS stooped to, thinking of Eddie rolling around in a big empty food barrel, coming to a stop at a tree, and then realizing he’s in prisoner clothes, was something I hope he chuckled about later.
He has no agenda except to be kind, how important good friends are, and love and appreciate your family.
It’s in my top 3 with “Night” (Pulitzer prize winner) and Escape from Sobi bor (movie doesn’t do it justice), and now Eddie’s story.
I would love to see a well made movie of this, but it should be a limited series with the best of the best involved in the making!

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  • amazon customer
  • 2021-09-04

I wish to always be kind

How important this book is to read. I could hardly read of his struggles. How could he actually live through them!?! I often wonder at the cruelty I hear of others, but then I wonder, "Am I as kind as I could be? Am I willing to extend myself with love and concern for others? Am I working to share kindness?" Thank you for sharing.

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  • Linda D. Hester
  • 2021-09-01

Eddie Jaku

What a magnificent book ! I was glued to the audiobook all day. Eddie is such a fine , kind and wonderful man. How he survived is a miracle. His story is sad, uplifting and extraordinary. His ability to live through the Holocaust and continue to be able to live a full, inspiring life is unbelievable. I am so glad I listened to this book. Even at 68 I am inspired to do better and be a better human being. Thank you Eddie 💕

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-08-31

Beautiful!

Beautiful story of kindness and the resiliency of the human spirit. Thank you for sharing your story Mr. Jaku. Narrator did an excellent job.

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  • Avinoam
  • 2021-08-22

absolutely remarkable and inspiring

one of the most moving stories I've ever had the honor to hear. this is now my all time favorite book.

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  • Jeannie
  • 2021-08-12

A Must Read/Listen to

Eddie shares the most incredible, horrific, and loving moments of his life. What Eddie has been through and continues to love people and be happy is truly a miracle. This is a book I think everyone should read/listen to. If he can be happy and continue to love after all he survived, why can't others??? I highly recommend it.