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Survivor is world's oldest, celebrates barmitzvah

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The world's oldest man, 113-year-old Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal who lives in Israel, missed his barmitzvah due to the World War - WWI that is! His father was in the Russian army and his mother had died three years earlier. He was born in 1903, in the town of Zarnow, Poland. His two children died in a Polish ghetto, while he himself was deported to Auschwitz, where his wife died.
by JTA | Sep 15, 2016
Kristal's daughter, Shulimath Kristal Kuperstoch, told the DPA news agency that about 100 family members will gather in Kristal's home city of Haifa in the coming weeks to mark the rite.

"We will bless him, we will dance with him, we will be happy," she said.

Kristal had his birthday last week. He was recognised as the world's oldest man in March.

He missed his barmitzvah due to the First World War. His father was in the Russian army and his mother had died three years earlier, Kuperstoch said.

Born on September 15, 1903, in the town of Zarnow, Poland, Kristal moved to Lodz in 1920 to work in his family’s candy business. He continued operating the business after the Nazis forced the city’s Jews into a ghetto, where Kristal’s two children died. In 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz, where his wife, whom he had married at 25, was killed.

In 1950, he moved to Haifa with his second wife and their son, working again as a confectioner. In addition to his son and daughter, Kristal has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

When asked at the time he was certified as the oldest living man 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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