Yisrael Kristal, the world’s oldest man, 113-year-old, has passed away Friday, just a month short of his 114th birthday, his family said. He was born in Maleniec, near the town of Zarnow in Poland on September 15, 1903, lived through both World Wars and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Last year Guinness World Records awarded Kristal a certificate as the world’s oldest man. “He used to walk very fast until he was very old”, his grandson Oren said to media. He worked in a candy-factory in Lodz in 1920. During the Nazi occupation of Poland Kristal was confined to the ghetto there and later sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps. He had lost first wife Chaja Feige Frucht and two children in the Holocaust.
The world's oldest man Yisrael Kristal
At the end of the World War II. being the only survivor of his family, Kristal was weighing only 37 kilograms (about 81 pounds). He married another Holocaust survivor and built again a confectionary business in Israel in 1950. He made soon his own sweets at his home kitchen selling them at a local kiosk. Some of his innovations were firsts for the Jewish state: jam made from carob, chocolate-covered orange peels, and, most famous of all, tiny bottles of liquor, made of chocolate and wrapped in tinfoil. He celebrated his bar mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony celebrated when a boy turns 13, a hundred years later, because when it was the appropriate time the World War I affected life. He was grandfather of nine. He had no secrets to longevity.