Israeli Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal, certified last year by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest man, died on 12 August 2017 aged 113, Israeli media reported. Since he was an observant Jew, his family could not be reached this evening, the onset of the Jewish sabbath.
“Yisrael Kristal died on 11 August 2017 a month before his 114th birthday,” Haaretz daily reported in its online edition. He was survived by two children, 9 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. Kristal, originally from Zarnow in what is now Poland, was born on September 15, 1903 three months before the Wright brothers’ first successful powered airplane flight. Guinness World Records recognised him as the world’s oldest man in March 2016.
In September he celebrated his Bar Mitzvah after a century-long delay. Usually marked at 13 for boys and 12 or 13 for girls a Bat Mitzvah in that case it marks the transition into someone responsible for his or her actions. Kristal was unable to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah in 1916 because his mother had died three months earlier and his father was a soldier in the Russian army at the time of World War I.
“My father is religious and has prayed every morning for 100 years, but he has never had his Bar Mitzvah,” his daughter Shula Koperstoch told AFP last year.After World War I, Kristal moved to Lodz where he worked in the family confectionary factory, married and had two children.