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  • Explore our stories online We have launched a new Digital Stories platform that lets you scroll through curated stories from our collection and Holocaust survivors. It's a new way to interact online with the countless stories we hold within our museum walls. Find out more
  • Watch webinars on-demand Catch up on past webinars at a time that suits you. These sessions have covered a range of fascinating topics such as Jewish festivals, human rights and our Museum exhibitions. Find out more
  • Read stories of survival In the aftermath of the Second World War, about 27,000 survivors of the Holocaust migrated to Australia.
    Survivors and their families have been very active in both the Australian Jewish and wider communities, making significant contributions in the professions, the arts, business and politics.

    Learn about their stories of survival and resilience.
    Find out more
  • Google Arts and Culture The Museum recently partnered with Google on their Arts and Culture platform to launch our online collection. You can uncover unique artefacts and Holocaust survivor stories in your own time, from the comfort of your own home. Find out more
  • Campaign for good Now, more than ever, our world needs more people practising acts of kindness.

    More ‘mensches’.

    Join the mensch movement and follow our Instagram page via the link below.
    Find out more

Eddie Jaku OAM, 1920 - 2021

Eddie Jaku OAM was born in Leipzig, Germany, in 1920 to a loving family that regarded themselves as Germans first and Jewish in their home.

Life changed for Eddie when Hitler came to power. Eddie was beaten and arrested on Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, in November 1938 and taken to Buchenwald concentration camp. Eddie miraculously survived numerous camps, including Auschwitz and a death march. Both his parents were murdered in Auschwitz. He never had the chance to say goodbye to them.

Eddie married his wife Flore in Belgium, and the couple left to start a new life in Australia in 1950. The couple had two sons, Michael born in Belgium, and Andre born in Australia. They were blessed with many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Eddie was one of the founders of the Sydney Jewish Museum in 1992, where he began telling his story of survival. Eddie shared his pledge not to hate and his choice to be happy with thousands of people, young and old, across the world. Many who spoke to Eddie expressed that their meeting was a life-changing moment.

Eddie’s impact, as the ‘happiest man on earth’ will continue to be felt for generations to come. His powerful messages in his memoir, through our Dimensions in Testimony project, and the ongoing work of the Sydney Jewish Museum, will continue to educate people on the dangers of hate.

Eddie’s passing has left a huge void in the hearts of the entire Museum ‘family’. We send our condolences to his family and wish long life to all who were privileged to know him.

A truly remarkable individual.

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Be the voice for tolerance, respect and a better world

Become a Member

The support of our members is essential to ensure the Sydney Jewish Museum can continue to educate and inspire students, teachers and general visitors on the history of the Holocaust and the important messages of Holocaust survivors. Our work inspires our audiences to be more empathetic, aware and driven to make positive change in the world.

Explore the Museum through video

Head Curator Roslyn Sugarman talks about a suitcase on display from the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Visit our YouTube Channel

Watch survivor testimonies

Holocaust survivor Olga Horak reflects the difficulties of forgiving and the importance of not having any hatred

Watch more testimonies
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SJM blog

Survivor Portraits – Peter Gyenes

October 21, 2021

Peter Gyenes was born in 1941 in Budapest, Hungary. His story highlights the power of kindness and compassion.

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Regina Zielinski: Escape from Sobibor

October 8, 2021

Regina Zielinski: Escape from Sobibor By Roslyn Sugarman, Head Curator Every year on 14 October we remember Regina Zielinski, Australia’s only Sobibor death camp survivor. Regina (Riva) was born on …

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Holocaust ‘fashion’

October 1, 2021

Holocaust ‘fashion’ By Dr Jonathan Kaplan, 2021 Museum Research Fellow Despite the horrific conditions of the Nazi camps, prisoners tried to maintain control over their own bodies in whatever ways …

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Discover our collection online

The Sydney Jewish Museum collection consists of over 12,000 artefacts and over 1,000 oral histories and testimonies.

The collection began when the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors approached their members in the late 1980s for Holocaust-related memorabilia to found a museum. When the Sydney Jewish Museum opened in 1992, these objects found a permanent home.

While our curators are constantly researching and updating records, where some items may not have been updated since their entry, we have taken the decision to make our collection open to you online.

Discover collection

Campaign for good

Now, more than ever, our societies need more individuals practising small acts of kindness on an everyday basis, working towards making the world a more accepting and welcoming place. In other words, we need more mensches.

Be a mensch is a reminder of the impact that kindness, humility, integrity and personal responsibility can have on the world – small acts that can make a better society, one person at a time. Be a mensch is a call for the lessons of history to inspire humanity and empathy.

A mensch, in Yiddish, is a person of integrity, morality, dignity, with a sense of what is right and responsible. But mensch is more than just an old Yiddish adage. It is relevant now, across the world, more than ever.

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