Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

World's oldest man, Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal dies at age 113

World's oldest man, Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal dies at age 113

In September he celebrated his Bar Mitzvah after a century-long delay. Since he was an observant Jew, his family could not be reached on Friday evening, the onset of the Jewish sabbath. He is survived by two of those children, and many more grandkids and great-grandchildren.

Born in Poland, he lost his first wife and their two children to the Holocaust - after the children died in the Lodz ghetto and his wife was murdered at Auschwitz.

When Kristal was told previous year he was being bestowed with the world's oldest man title, he reportedly told Haaretz, "I couldn't care less".

After growing up in Poland, Kristal worked in the family confectionary business until Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Kristal, however, managed to survive, performing slave labor. He weighed more than 37 pounds, according to Guinness, when the Allies liberated the camps.

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Yisrael Kristal, the world's oldest man, was niftar Friday in Eretz Yisrael at the age of 113.

He and his wife were then sent to Auschwitz where she was murdered.Kristal remarried in 1947 and emigrated to Israel in 1950. There, he opened another sweet shop and continued to run the business up until his retirement. Because his mother had died just months before his 13th birthday and his father was fighting during the First World War, Kristal was never able to mark the occasion.

Kristal's daughter, Shula Kopershtouk, told CBC News at the time: "My father told my son not to take his bar mitzvah for granted, saying that not everyone was lucky enough to have one". "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".

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