World’s oldest man Yisrael Kristal dies at 113

Polish-born Yisrael Kristal, the world’s oldest man and the only member of his immediate family to survive the Holocaust – has died at the age of 113.

Mr Kristal, who lived in Haifa, Israel, hit the headlines last year after deciding to celebrate his bar mitzvah a century late.

The original celebration had not taken place because World War One broke out.

Mr Kristal was born in the village of Zarnow, about 90 miles (146km) south-west of Warsaw, in 1903. He later moved to Lodz to work in the family confectionery business.

After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939, Mr Kristal and his family were moved into the Lodz ghetto.
His two children died there and Mr Kristal and his wife Chaja Feige Frucht were sent to Auschwitz in 1944 after the ghetto was liquidated.

Mr Kristal’s wife was murdered in Auschwitz but he survived, and performing slave labour in that and other camps. When he was found by the Allies in May 1945 he weighed just 37 kg (5 stones 11 lbs).

According to Tablet Mag, he thanked the Soviet soldiers who rescued him by making them sweets.

The sole survivor from his family, Mr Kristal emigrated to Israel in 1950 with his second wife and their son, where he continued to run his confectionery business until his retirement.

Mr Kristal was officially recognised as the world’s oldest man by the Guinness Book of Records in March 2016.
He is survived by two children, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

source: BBC


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