Eddie Jaku, a Holocaust survivor, and author of the best-selling book The Happiest Man On Earth, has died at 101 years old.
Up until recently, he was still volunteering at the Sydney Jewish Museum.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said: "Sadly Eddie has passed away, aged 101.
"Having survived the Holocaust, Eddie chose to make his life a testimony of how hope and love can triumph over despair and hate.
"He was an inspiration and a joy."
Speaking to Mia Freedman, for Mamamia's No Filter podcast, Jaku recalled the moment more than 75 years ago, when he came face to face with a man named Josef Mengele.
Known to history as The Angel of Death, it was Mengele’s finger that determined the fate of hundreds of thousands of Jewish men and women – including Jaku's.
Standing beside his 52-year-old father, Mengele pointed Jaku to one side, and his father to another.
But Jaku paid no attention. He followed his father, with his head down, hoping no one would notice him. A Nazi guard, however, did.
“Hey, you!” he called out. “Didn’t he tell you to go this side?”
Realising what Jaku had done, the guard said, “Your father goes by truck. You walk into the camp.”
So, Jaku turned around, and walked into Auschwitz concentration camp, a site where more than 1.1 million people were murdered.
He would never see his father again.
Living much of his life in Sydney, Jaku always said there were two places he would never return to.
The first was Germany, where the Nazi party rose to prominence, and systematically perpetrated an act of genocide which resulted in the death of more than six million European Jews.