World's Oldest Man Passes Away

August 11, 2017Aug 11, 2017

Israel Kristal, the world's oldest man, passed away today. He was 113 years old, and he would have been 114 in a month reports the BBC

Kristal was born in Poland in Zarnow, about 90 miles (146km) southwest of Warsaw, in 1903. He was the only member of his immediate family to survive the Holocaust. His mother and father, a religious scholar, died during World War One. After their passing, Kristal moved to Lodz to work in the family confectionery business.

He was living in Lodz with his wife and two children when Nazi forces invaded Poland, placing his family in the Lodz Ghetto. His two children died in the ghetto, and he and his wife were transferred to Auschwitz in 1944. His wife was murdered in the concentration camp, but Kristal survived. 

"When he was found by the Allies in May 1945, he weighed just 37 kg," reports BBC. 

Kristal remarried after the Holocaust, had two more children, and emigrated to Haifa, Israel in 1950. He ran a confectionery business there until his retirement. 

Last year, he made headlines when he decided to celebrate his bar mitzvah a century late. The celebration didn't take place originally because of World War I. 

In March 2016, the Guinness Book of Records officially recognized Kristal as the world's oldest man. In an interview at the time, he said he didn't know what the secret was to long life. 

"There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men than me who are no longer alive," said Kristal. 

Kristal died Friday afternoon after becoming ill on Thursday said his daughter, Shula Koperstoch. She also told Israeli news that she had a "great father." 

"Despite all that he went through, and he lost the whole family in the Holocaust, he had a lot of optimism, and he always saw only light and good in everything."

He is survived by two children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Pray for his friends and family as they mourn the loss of this remarkable man who endured so much but still chose to live a full life. 

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