Review by John
The Happiest Man on Earth is about how Eddie Jaku survived the Holocaust with hope, kindness, friendship, and skills.
He was born in 1920 and grew up in Leipzig, Germany. He went to university, studied to become an engineer, and became friends with Kurt Hirschfield. In 1938 he was captured by the Nazis and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp where he suffered immensely. His friend was a guard for the camp and immediately told his boss that Eddie is a skilled engineer. The Nazis released him 6 months later and sent him to work at a factory to aid the germans in making bombs to help them in WWII. While he was being transferred he attempted to escape, but was unsuccessful in doing so and was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. The Nazis did not send Eddie to the gas chambers because he was of great use to them with his advanced engineering skills. At this camp, he was reunited with his friend Kurt who was sent there because of his anti-Nazi behavior. Eddie and Kurt shared food and huddled together during the cold winter nights to prevent freezing to death. Eddie wanted to end his life several times during all this madness but his buddy Kurt gave him hope and convinced him otherwise. The two managed to survive until the Allied Forces won the war and liberated them from the Nazis. Eddie moved to Australia afterward and he started his own family. spend the rest of his life telling the world about his experiences during the Holocaust.
I believe the book’s message is to spread kindness and to have hope. Eddie wouldn’t have survived if he didn’t have these qualities. I recommend this book because it will give insight into all the crimes that the Nazis committed against the Jews and a new perspective on life.