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Auschwitz survivor 'world's oldest man'

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 24.01.2016 14:00
According to the US-based Gerontology Research Group, 112-year-old Yisrael Kristal is the world’s oldest man.
Yisrael Kristal. Photo: Family archiveYisrael Kristal. Photo: Family archive

The Group contacted the man’s grandson following the death of Yasutaro Koide in Japan, who was several months Kristal’s senior.

Yisrael Kristal was born on 15 September 1903 in Żarnów, near the city of Łódź, then in the Russian zone of partitioned Poland.

In his late teens he started to work in his family’s confectionary business in Łódź. He married in 1928. Forced into the Jewish Ghetto which the German Nazis set up in the town at the beginning of 1940, he was allowed to continue his business there.

After the liquidation of the Ghetto in August 1944, Kristal and his wife were deported to the German Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz, where his wife was killed. Having survived the ordeal, in 1950 he left for Israel with his second wife and their son, and settled in Haifa, where he established Kristal’s Sweets. He has lived in Haifa ever since.

It is still not certain whether Kristal will be formally registered as the oldest man in the world as the Gerontology Research Group requires documentation from the first twenty years of his life. The trouble is that the earliest official document in Kristal’s possession is his marriage certificate from 1928. (mk/nh)

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