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Oldest living man confirmed as Israeli Auschwitz survivor

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Israel Kristal, aged 112, succeeds Yasutaro Koide of Japan who died this month



Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem


Friday 11 March 2016 15.02 GMT




The world’s oldest documented living man has been confirmed as an Israeli Auschwitz survivor living in Haifa.


Israel Kristal, aged 112 and 178 days on 11 March, was handed a certificate at his home by a representative of the Guinness World Records confirming him as the oldest known man on the planet.


Kristal succeeded 112-year-old Yasutaro Koide of Japan, who died earlier this month. Asked about his longevity 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 than 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.”


Kristal was born in Zarnow, Poland, on 15 September 1903. When the first world war broke out in 1914, he saw Kaiser Franz Joseph in person but became separated from his parents, later moving aged 17 to Lodz to work in the family confectionery business.


He continued to work as a sweet maker in the ghetto there when it was established by the Nazis in 1940. Four years later he was sent to Auschwitz, where he lost his wife.


Kristal himself survived despite being used as a slave labourer in Auschwitz and other concentration camps.


He was rescued from the brink of death by the allies in May 1945, weighing only 37kg. The sole survivor of his family – his children also died during the Holocaust – he emigrated in 1950 to the city of Haifa in Israel with his second wife and their son.


Despite his great age, Kristal is not the oldest documented person on the planet, a record claimed by 115-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones of Brooklyn, New York.


Individuals over 110 are tracked by the Gerontology Research Group which provides Guinness World Records with data on documented individuals of that age and older.


Marco Frigatti of Guinness said of Kristal: “This record category continues to be one of particular human interest and we have been able to verify that he is the new oldest living man.”


There was initially some question whether Kristal would qualify, with rules requiring an official document demonstrating a person’s age which needs to have been issued in the first 20 years of life. In Kristal’s case he had a marriage certificate issued when he was 25.



Israel Kristal at home in the Israeli city of Haifa.
Photograph: Shula Kopershtouk/AFP/Getty Images
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How fitting that a Polish Jew living in Israel would achieve such a milestone, considering the tumultuous times are world is going through.  And yes, he looks fantastic.   :) 


GO RV, then BV

A beautiful smile...Awesome

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