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BIOGRAPHY

Israel Kristal was born in the village of Malenie, Opoczno County, Łódź Voivodeship, in central Poland (then part of the Russian Empire), on 15 September 1903. His mother died when he was young. His father was drafted during World War I and young Israel was forced to work hard to make a living. Due to the War, he never had a Bar Mitzvah.

In 1928, he married Feige Chaja Frucht. The couple ran a confectionary factory. His wife and their two sons died in the Holocaust. Kristal was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1944 and was imprisoned in a few other labor camps during the war. He was freed in May 1945. After the war, he returned to Łódź (present-day Poland), restarted his confectionery business, remarried, and had a son.

In 1950, the family moved to Haifa, Israel.

RECOGNITION

On 8 June 2014, following the death of Dr. Alexander Imich in the United States, Kristal became the oldest living Polish-born person, and the oldest living European-born man. He was 110 years old at the time.

On 19 January 2016, following the death of 112-year-old Yasutaro Koide of Japan, Kristal became the candidate for the title of the world’s oldest living man (his age was unvalidated at the time). On 11 March 2016, his age was officially validated by the Gerontology Research Group, confirming his status as the world’s oldest living man. He was recognized by the Guinness World Records on the same day, receiving the certificate from Marco Frigatti, Head of Records at Guinness World Records.

After his validation, Kristal became the second-validated supercentenarian to reside in Israel, after Dr. Maria Pogonowska (1897–2009). To this day, he remains the oldest person who died in Israel and the oldest Polish-born man whose age is authenticated.

ATTRIBUTION

GALLERY

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