Yisrael Kristal can be declared as the world’s oldest man after Yasutaro Koide of Japan died at same age of 112. The only problem is, Kristal has no birth certificate to prove it.
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The Holocaust survivor is up for the honor after his grandson Oren received an e-mail from the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks individuals from around the world that are more than a 110 years old.
However, in order to receive the honor from Guinness, Kristal must present legal documentation of the first 20 years of his life. But the former candyman only has proof of his marriage at the age of 25.
Kristal is said to have been born on September 15, 1905, in the town of Zarnow, Poland, to a conservative Jewish family. Years later, he relocated to Lodz to work on his own candy business. When the Nazis took over, the Jews were forced into living in harsh conditions, and among them were Kristal, his wife, and their two children.
His children unfortunately passed away in the ghettos, and he later lost his wife when she was murdered after their move to Auschwitz. Left to fend for himself, Kristal worked tedious hours in concentration camps, surviving on his own until the end of the war.
He later moved to Haifa, Israel, with his second wife and their infant son, Haim. The family later grew, and they welcomed two daughters Shula and Kristal.
Kristal has remained faithful to God after all these years. “The Holocaust did not affect his beliefs. My father is someone who is always happy. He is optimistic, wise, and he values what he has,” Shula Kuperstoch shared. “His attitude to life is everything in moderation. He eats and sleeps moderately and says that a person should always be in control of their own life and not have their life control them, as far as this is possible.”
When asked about his secret to longevity, the family agrees that everything was according God’s plan. “He says that if he had created some medicine to extend life, then it would be something notable,” said Kuperstoch. “But his attitude is that he has just lived his life and reached thus age. It’s just his reality, it wasn’t in his hands. That’s what he believes.”