JERUSALEM (AP) – Yisrael Kristal, the world’s oldest man who lived through both World Wars and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp has passed away just a month short of his 114th birthday, his family said Saturday.
Oren Kristal, a grandson, said he died Friday. “He managed to accomplish a lot. Every year he lived was like a few years for somebody else,” Oren told The Associated Press.
Last year Guinness World Records awarded Kristal a certificate as the world’s oldest man at his home in Haifa, Israel.
Kristal was born to an Orthodox Jewish family near the town of Zarnow in Poland in 1903.
“When he was a child during World War I in Poland he was a helper for a booze smuggler, he used to run barefoot in the snow through the night many kilometers with a heavy package on his back at about 12 years old, smuggling alcohol between the lines of the war,” Oren, his grandson said.
“He used to walk very fast until he was very old, faster than me, and he used to tell me that when he was my age if you didn’t walk fast enough your feet would stick to the frozen ground,” Oren recalled his grandfather telling him.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)