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Guinness confirms candy-making Holocaust survivor is world’s oldest man

NEW WORLD'S OLDEST MAN ANNOUNCED BY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Marco Frigatti, Head of Records for Guinness World Records, presents Israel Kristal his certificate of achievement for Oldest living man on 11th March 2016, Haifa, Israel.  Picture credit: Dvir Rosen/Guinness World Records

(JTA) — It’s official: Yisrael Kristal, a 112-year-old Holocaust survivor and Israeli citizen, is the world’s oldest living man.

Guinness World Records confirmed Yisrael Kristal’s status on its website Friday.

In January, JTA and other media reported that Kristal, who survived Auschwitz and the Lodz Ghetto, was likely the world’s oldest man, but that it would not be made official until he presented documents from the first 20 years of his life.

Guinness World Records’ Head of Records Marco Frigatti personally delivered a certificate to Kristal’s home in Haifa, Israel, on Friday, according to the organization’s website.

Frigatti said: “Mr. Kristal’s achievement is remarkable — he can teach us all an important lesson about the value of life and how to stretch the limits of human longevity.”

After receiving the certificate, 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.”

His daughter Shula Kuperstoch told Agence France Press: “It’s a privilege [to have reached this age] and I’m very happy and he’s happy too.”

Born on Sept. 15, 1903, in the town of Zarnow, Poland, Kristal moved to Lodz, Poland, 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 age 25, was killed.

Kristal weighed just 81 pounds at the end of World War II, according to Koperstoch.

In 1950, he moved to Haifa with his second wife and their son, working again as a confectioner.

Kuperstoch told The Jerusalem Post in January that her father has been religiously observant his whole life and continues to lay tefillin each morning.

“The Holocaust did not affect his beliefs,” Kuperstoch said. “He believes he was saved because that’s what God wanted. He is not an angry person, he is not someone who


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