The World's Oldest Living Man Is a 112-Year-Old Confectioner and Concentration Camp Survivor

World's Oldest Man is Israel Kristal, Auschwitz Survivor
Israel Kristal (second from right) is confirmed as the world's oldest man
Dvir Rosen/Guinness World Records via AP

03/12/2016 AT 01:10 PM EST

The oldest man in the world is 112-year-old Israel Kristal, Guinness World Records announced on Friday.

Kristal received an official certificate bearing the impressive title at the age of 112 years and 178 days in his Haifa, Israel, home.

Marco Frigatti, head of records for Guinness World Records, praised Kristal's "remarkable" achievement in a statement from the organization.

"He can teach us all an important lesson about the value of life and how to stretch the limits of human longevity," Frigatti said.



After being confirmed as the oldest man in the world, Kristal denied that he had done anything in particular to reach the milestone.

"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," he said. "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."

Kristal was born Izrael Icek Krysztal in a small village in what is now Poland on Sept. 15, 1903, according to the New York Times. He was helping his father run a candy shop in Lodz, Poland, when Germany invaded the country. Even after he and the rest of the city's Jewish population were moved to the Lodz Ghetto, Kristal and his father continued to make candy.

In 1943, Kristal and his family were moved to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where his wife and two children were killed. Kristal was the only member of his extended family to survive World War II.

After the war, Kristal reopened and ran the family candy shop in Lodz until 1950, when we moved with his second wife and son to Israel and continued his work as a confectioner. Kristal gained recognition in 2014 when he became the world's oldest Holocaust survivor at the age of 110.
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