Auschwitz survivor Israel Kristal becomes world's oldest man at 112

Against all odds, Israel Kristal survived the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp and went on to become the world's ...
KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS

Against all odds, Israel Kristal survived the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp and went on to become the world's oldest man.

A 112-year-old who survived slave labour at the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz during the Holocaust is now the world's oldest man.

"I don't know the secret for long life," Israel Kristal said. "I believe that everything is determined from above and we shall never know the reasons why."

The Israeli man, who lived through both World Wars, was named the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Friday.

Guinness said in a statement that Israel Kristal is 112 years and 178 days old.

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"There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men then 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," Kristal said.

Kristal was born on September 11, 1903, to Jewish Orthodox parents Moszek-Dawid and Brucha Krystztal near the town of Zarnow in Poland, according to Guinness.

At age 3, Kristal started to speak Hebrew and at age 4 he learned the Bible.

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Surviving World War I, he was separated from his parents at 11 years old.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, Kristal was moved to a ghetto with his family in 1939.

In the early 1940s, Kristal was sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps, where he performed slave labour.

He wife, Chaja Feige Frucht, and their two children died during the Holocaust, according to Guinness.

Kristal was the only survivor of his family when he was rescued by Allied forces in 1945. He weighed only about 81 pounds at the time, Guinness reported.

In 1950, he moved to the city of Haifa in Israel with his second wife and their son to continue his confectionary business until he retired.

The oldest living person in the world is Susannah Mushatt Jones at age 116. She credits her long life to "lots of sleep," Guinness said. But her family members say she has lived a long life due to her love of family and generosity to others. 

 - MCT

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