World's oldest man, who survived Auschwitz, dies at 113

  • World's oldest man, who survived Auschwitz, dies at 113

World's oldest man, who survived Auschwitz, dies at 113

Kristal, who was recognized as the world's oldest man by the Guinness Book of World Records, did not get to celebrate his bar mitzvah at the age of 13 in his native Poland due to World War I. He received media attention from around the world when he made a decision to celebrate it a year ago when he turned 113. "He used to run barefoot through the night for many kilometres with a heavy package on his back, aged about 12 years old, smuggling alcohol between the lines of the war", Oren Kristal said. His original celebration was delayed owing to World War I, in which both his parents died.

He was born in 1903 to an Orthodox Jewish family near the town of Zarnow in Poland.

He lived in Poland during the First World War up until the Nazi occupation of the country when he was taken to Auschwitz.

In March, 2016, Guinness World Records named Kristal, then 112, the world's oldest living man. He later moved to Lodz to work in the family confectionery business. He was deported to Auschwitz in 1940 and lost his first wife and two children in the Holocaust, according to the Haaretz newspaper. Kristal, however, managed to survive, performing slave labor. When he was found by the Allies in May 1945 he weighed just 37 kg (5 stones 11 lbs). "They had to think about a profession and about making a living". Kristal is survived by two children, multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren, according to Guinness.

Speaking at the time, he admitted he did not know the secret to a long life, saying: "There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men than me who are no longer alive". Shula Kupershtuch says: "He always saw only light and good in everything".