Israel Kristal: Holocaust survivor becomes world's oldest man at 112-years-old

Israel Kristal lived through both World Wars and survived Auschwitz

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The Independent Online

A Holocaust survivor has become the world's oldest man at 112-years-old, Guinness World Records has confirmed.

Israel Kristal was recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest man at 112 years and 178 days old.

He has lived through both World Wars and survived Auschwitz.

Israel Kristal with head of Guinness World Records records team Marco Frigatti, Israel's son Heim Kristal, daughter Shula Kuperstoch and great grandchildren

Mr Kristal was born in Poland, near the town of Zarnow, on 15 September, 1903. 

After surviving the First World War, he moved to Łódź in Poland to continue his family's confectionary business.

Following the Nazi invasion of Poland and the occupation of Łódź, he was moved to the Łódź ghetto with his family in 1939.

Four years later, he was sent to Auschwitz. When rescued by the Allies in May 1945, he weighed 37 kilos.

He lost his wife and their two children during the Holocaust. 

In 1950, he emigrated to Haifa, Israel, with his second wife and their son, where he continued his confectionery business until his retirement.

When receiving his certificate, Mr Kristal said: “I don’t know the secret for long life. I believe that everything is determined from above and we shall never know the reasons why. 

"There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men then me who are no longer alive. All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost.”

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The world's previous oldest man, Yasutaro Koide of Japan, died in January 2016 at the age of 112 years, 312 days. He died two months short of his 113th birthday.

Susannah Mushatt Jones is the oldest living person and oldest living woman at 115 years and 249 days. When asked her secret to living for so long, she said she eats bacon every day.

The oldest person ever to have lived was Jeanne Calment, from France, who lived to 122 years and 164 days.