Meeting a 99 Year Old Holocaust Survivor
Last weekend I had the huge honour of meeting fellow ‘‘Bulanaire’’ and 99 year old Holocaust survivor - Eddie Jaku.
This was a life changing experience for me, as reading incredible stories like Eddie’s after losing my sister is what gave me the strength to pull myself off the bathroom floor I spent many hours crying on, and begin my journey of living again after my world was thrown upside down.
There were 11,000 inmates at the 1st concentration camp Eddie was sent to. A few months later, only 2,000 remained.
That was just the beginning of the horror he suffered which saw him end up in Auschwitz where his parents were killed.. so to personally share a laugh with this wonderful man is one of the most special experiences of my life. Because I know what that laugh of his has endured to still be here today -
It has literally lived through hell; and yet it still brings joy.
It’s hard as a 26 year old living in the comfort of today’s society to even begin to fathom how you possibly heal from such trauma; how you don’t become bitter; how you don’t give up hope. But in the wise words of Eddie himself,
“There is no revenge, staying alive is revenge.”
Amen to that Eddie - and you’re not just staying alive, you’re changing lives. At 99 years old you’re radiating happiness in a way that leaves no heart who meets you untouched. You are proof not even the evils of Hitler can take away our freedom to choose our attitude, no matter what.
If Eddie can choose love and life after his pain and suffering, we all can.
We always have a choice.