Friday 9 December 2016

Israeli Holocaust survivor named as world's oldest man at 112

Published 11/03/2016 | 15:46

Israel Kristal moved to Israel in 1950 with his second wife and son
Israel Kristal moved to Israel in 1950 with his second wife and son

A 112-year-old Israeli who lived through both world wars and survived the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz is the world's oldest man, Guinness World Records has announced.

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Guinness said in a statement that Israel Kristal was 112 years and 178 days old as on Friday.

Marco Frigatti, head of records for Guinness, awarded Mr Kristal a certificate at his home in Haifa.

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."

Guinness said Mr Kristal was born in 1903 to an Orthodox Jewish family near the town of Zarnow in Poland, and he moved to Lodz to work in the family confectionery business in 1920.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland he was confined to the ghetto in Lodz and was later sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps. His first wife and two children were killed in the Holocaust.

Mr Kristal survived the Second World War weighing about 5st 7lb - the only survivor of his large family. He moved to Israel in 1950 with his second wife and their son.

In Israel, Mr Kristal "continued to grow both his family and his successful confectionery business".

Yasutaro Koide of Japan was the previous oldest man. He died in January at the age of 112 years and 312 days.

Susannah Mushatt Jones, 115, an American born in 1899, is the world's oldest living person and the oldest woman, Guinness said.

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