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Sat Aug 12, 2017, 05:05 PM

Worlds Oldest Man, Holocaust Survivor Yisrael Kristal, Dies One Month Shy of His 114th Birthday


Yisrael Kristal, a Holocaust survivor who was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the world’s oldest man and one of the ten oldest men who ever lived, passed away today in his home in Haifa. He was one month shy of his 114th birthday.

He was born in Maleniec, Poland, on September 15, 1903. His father was a Torah scholar, and Yisrael was sent to the Cheder when he was three, to follow in his father’s footsteps. Life had other plans: His mother died in 1910, and in 1914, when Yisrael was 11, World War I broke out. When Kaiser Franz Joseph drove through the streets of his town in a car, throwing sweets and waving at the children, Kristal was there to wave back. His father, however, was soon recruited by the army and died in the war.

Moving to Lodz when he was 17, Kristal found work in a candy factory, and soon proved himself as an expert candy-maker. He married Chaja Feige Frucht in 1928, and had two daughters. He continued to manufacture candy, sometime secretly, even after the Nazis took over and forced all of Lodz’s Jews into the ghetto. Both of his children perished there. In 1944, when the ghetto was liquidated, Kristal and his wife were both deported to Auschwitz. Chaja Feige died shortly thereafter, but Yisrael survived, working as a forced laborer. When the Red Army liberated him, he thanked the Soviet soldiers by making them candy. He returned to Lodz, rebuilt his old candy shop, and met another woman, Batsheva, who he married in 1947. The couple had a son, Chaim, and a daughter, Shula.

In 1950, Kristal and his family emigrated to Israel. They settled in Haifa, and Kristal found work at the Palata candy factory. A proud artisan, he soon went in to business for himself, making his own sweets at his home kitchen and selling them at a local kiosk. Some of his innovations were firsts for the Jewish state: jam made from carob, chocolate-covered orange peels, and, most famous of all, tiny bottles of liquor, made of chocolate and wrapped in tinfoil. He continued to work as a candy-maker until his retirement, and was a religiously observant grandfather of nine.

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Reply Worlds Oldest Man, Holocaust Survivor Yisrael Kristal, Dies One Month Shy of His 114th Birthday (Original post)
steve2470 Aug 2017 OP
Mosby Aug 2017 #1

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 11:38 PM

1. I like this quote

Guiness recognized him as the world’s oldest living man in 2016. When asked at the time what his secret was to long life, Kristal said: “I don’t know the secret for long life. I believe that everything is determined from above and we shall never know the reasons why. There have been smarter, stronger and better-looking men than 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.”


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