August 12, 2017
Bad news, everyone.
Yisrael Kristal, a Polish-born Jew who died more than 20 times during the Holocaust, has died again at the age of 113 – and this time, it looks as though the death was permanent.
The world’s oldest man – the only member of his immediate family to survive the Holocaust – has died at the age of 113.
Polish-born Yisrael Kristal died on Friday, a month before he was due to turn 114, Israeli media reported.
Mr Kristal, who lived in Haifa, Israel, hit the headlines last year after deciding to celebrate his bar mitzvah a century late.
The original celebration had not taken place because World War One broke out.
Mr Kristal was born in the village of Zarnow, about 90 miles (146km) south-west of Warsaw, in 1903.
The son of a religious scholar, Mr Kristal lost his mother and father during World War One, according to reports. He later moved to Lodz to work in the family confectionery business.
After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939, Mr Kristal and his family were moved into the Lodz ghetto.
His two children died there and Mr Kristal and his wife Chaja Feige Frucht were sent to Auschwitz in 1944 after the ghetto was liquidated.
Mr Kristal’s wife was murdered in Auschwitz but he survived, performing slave labour in that and other camps. When he was found by the Allies in May 1945 he weighed just 37 kg (5 stones 11 lbs).
According to Tablet Mag, he thanked the Soviet soldiers who rescued him by making them sweets.
The sole survivor from his family, Mr Kristal emigrated to Israel in 1950 with his second wife and their son, where he continued to run his confectionery business until his retirement.
Mr Kristal was officially recognised as the world’s oldest man by the Guinness Book of Records in March 2016.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Notice the chimneys emerging from the grass, which suggest that the Nazis built hundreds of gas chambers underground too.
Wow, what a truly amazing life!
Can you imagine the atrocities that this Jew witnessed while awaiting death at an extermination camp?
Thousands of innocent Jews – whom the Nazis deliberately targeted because they were innocent – being gassed daily in chambers whose doors were made of the finest wood?
Countless gypsies, homosexuals and other “undesirables” being forced out of the outdoor swimming pool early because the commandant thought it might rain?
Truly wicked stuff.
Yet, by G-d’s grace, Yisrael Kristal survived it all – unlike exactly six million of his fellow tribesmen.
Yisrael Kristal at 110.
You have to admit, he looked pretty good for his age, too. In fact, most Holocaust survivors seem to enjoy long, healthful lives.
A lot of German soldiers who fought in World War II suffered from missing limbs, shrapnel wounds and other signs of having lived through the most devastating war in world history. Yet, these lucky Jews always seem to be in good shape, despite enduring the most torturous death factories conceived by (Aryan) man.
I hope that when I reach old age, I’m as healthy as a Holocaust survivor.