World's Oldest Man Dies at 113

Candymaker Yisrael Kristal was only member of his immediate family to survive Auschwitz
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2017 6:31 PM CDT

He survived Auschwitz, ran a confectionery business, and recently took over as the world's oldest man, per Guinness World Records. On Friday, Yisrael Kristal died in Haifa, Israel, at age 113, just one month shy of his 114th birthday, the BBC reports. Kristal, who was born in Poland, lost his parents shortly before and during World War I and went on to work in the family's candymaking business. When the Nazis invaded Poland, his family was forced into the Lodz ghetto, where his two children died; he and his wife were then moved to Auschwitz, where she died. Per Tablet magazine, when Soviet soldiers liberated him, where he was working as a forced laborer, he showed his gratitude by making them sweets.

Kristal eventually remarried and had two more children, and he and his family moved to Israel in 1950. He became somewhat of a celebrity in Haifa last year when he decided, 100 years after when most people do so, to celebrate his bar mitzvah. When Kristal was told last year he was being bestowed with the world's oldest man title, he reportedly told Haaretz, "I couldn't care less." Despite the ordeals he'd lived through over the years, he told the paper that "the world is worse than in the past," lamenting modern-day "permissiveness," lack of work ethic in today's "cheeky" young people, and the fact that everything is now "high tech." "Today, children decide everything," he said. "Once upon a time, parents had the last word." (More oldest man stories.)

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