Holocaust survivor Israel Kristal was confirmed by Guinness World Records on Friday as the planet’s oldest living man, having graced the earth for 112 years and 178 days.
“I don’t know the secret for long life,” Kristal, who lives in Haifa, Israel, told Guinness. “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.” But few men have lived through so much tumult and turmoil.
Born Sept. 15, 1903, in what was then Russian-occupied Poland, Kristal survived World War I despite being separated from his parents. Kristal was living in the city of Lodz with his wife, Chaja Feige, and their two kids when World War II erupted and they were forced by the Germans into a Jewish ghetto.
Four years later, Kristal and his family was sent to Auschwitz. Only he survived. He weighed just 82 pounds when he was liberated by the Allies. In 1950, Kristal and his second wife and son left Poland for Israel, where he owned and operated a candy business. Read more