The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
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- Author: Eddie Jaku
- Language: English
- Genre: Jewish History
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
There are many things more precious than money.
I was born in 1920 in a city called Leipzig, in eastern Germany. My name
was Abraham Salomon Jakubowicz, but friends called me Adi for short. In
English, the name is pronounced Eddie. So please, call me Eddie, my
We were a loving family, a big family. My father, Isidore, had four
brothers and three sisters, and my mum, Lina, was one of thirteen children.
Imagine the strength of my grandmother, who raised so many children! She
lost a son in the First World War, a Jew who sacrificed his life for Germany,
as well as her husband, my grandfather, an army chaplain who never
returned from the war.
My father was as proud a German citizen as could be, an immigrant from
Poland who settled in Germany. He first left Poland as an apprentice in fine
mechanical engineering for typewriter manufacturer Remington. Because
he spoke good German, he made his way to America working on a German
He excelled in his trade in America, but missed his family and decided to
travel back to Europe to visit on another German merchant ship – arriving
just in time to be caught in the First World War. Because he was travelling
on a Polish passport, he was interned by the Germans as an illegal alien.
However, the German government recognised that he was a skilled
mechanic, and allowed him to leave internment to work in a factory in
Leipzig, making heavy weapons for the war effort. In this time he fell in
love with my mother, Lina, and with Germany, and stayed after the war. He
opened a factory in Leipzig, married my mother, and soon I was born. Two
years later, we welcomed my little sister Johanna into the world. We called
her Henni for short.
Nothing could shake my father’s patriotism and pride in Germany. We
considered ourselves Germans first, Germans second, and then Jewish. Our
religion did not seem as important to us as being good citizens of our
Leipzig. We practiced our traditions and observed our holidays, but our
loyalty and our love were for Germany. I was proud to come from Leipzig,
which had for 800 years been a centre for art and culture – it had one of the
oldest symphony orchestras in the world, and it was a city that inspired
Johann Sebastian Bach, Clara Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, writers, poets
and philosophers – Goethe, Liebniz and Nietzsche, and many others.
For centuries, Jews had been part of the very fabric of Leipzig society.
Since medieval times, the big market day was on Friday, rather than
Saturday, to allow Jewish merchants to participate, as work is forbidden for
us on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Prominent Jewish citizens and
philanthropists contributed to the public good, as well as the Jewish
community, overseeing the construction of some of Europe’s most beautiful
synagogues. Harmony was part of life. And it was a very good life for a
child. We had the zoological gardens just five minutes’ walk from my
house, famed around the world for its collection and for breeding more
lions in captivity than anywhere else in the world.
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