Israel Kristal of Haifa, Israel, is now the world’s oldest living man, according to Guinness World Records.
Kristal claimed the title when he reached the age of 112 years and 178 days on March 11, and was awarded his certificate at his home in Haifa by Guinness World Records’ Head of Records Marco Frigatti.
Born in Poland Sept. 15, 1903, Kristal has lived through both world wars and was rescued from the Auschwitz concentration camp before moving to Israel.
“I don’t know the secret for long life,” Kristal said. “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. All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost.”
There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men than me who are no longer alive.
— Israel Kristal
Kristal, who lost his wife and two children in the Holocaust, survived slave labor in Auschwitz and other camps. When he was liberated by the Allies in May 1945, he weighed only 37 kilos (less than 82 pounds). He emigrated to Haifa in 1950 with his second wife and their son. Since that time, Kristal continued to grow both his family and his successful confectionery business until his retirement.
The previous oldest man, Yasutaro Koide of Japan, died in January 2016 at the age of 112 years, 312 days. The oldest living person is Susannah Mushatt Jones of the United States, who is 115 years and 249 days. The oldest person ever to have lived, Jeanne Calment of France, lived to 122 years and 164 days.
Paul Duncan was formerly Editorial Director of Next Avenue. He has been a writer, editor and consultant for newspapers and news media in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, and has a background in entrepreneurship and international business development.