World's oldest living man is Holocaust survivor
Last Friday, 11 March, Guiness World Records confirmed that the world's oldest living man is Holocaust survivor Mr Israel Kristal of Haifa, Israel.
Kristal was born near Zarnow in Poland on 15 September 1903, making him 112 years and 181 days old as of today (14th March 2016). Having survived the First World War, he went to work in his family's confectionery business in Łódź in 1920, but following the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, he and his family were moved into the Łódź ghetto. He continued to sell sweets in the ghetto, but his two children died before the ghetto's liquidation in 1944. Kristal and his wife, Chaja Feige Frucht, were moved to Auschwitz, where Chaja was killed and Kristal became a slave labourer. Kristal was moved around the Nazi concentration camps until he was rescued by the Allies in May 1945, when he weighed just 37kg (5 stone, 11.5 lbs).
As the sole survivor of his family, he moved to Haifa in Israel in 1950 with his second wife (whom he married in 1947) and his son, and established another confectionery business. When asked about the secret of his long life, he responded '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.'
Although Kristal is the world's oldest living man (the former holder of the record was 112 year-old Yasutaro Koide of Japan, who died earlier this month), he is not the oldest living person in the world. That title goes to 115 year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones of Brooklyn, New York.
You can read more about Israel Kristal's record award at the Guiness World Records website.