Gerontology Wiki
Israel Kristal
Israel Kristal
Birth: 15 September 1903
Malenie, Russian Empire (now Poland)
Death: 11 August 2017
Haifa, Israel
Age: 113 years, 330 days
Country: PolandPOLIsrael ISR

Israel Kristal (15 September 1903 – 11 August 2017), originally "Izrael", sometimes transliterated "Yisrael Kristal", was a validated Polish-born Israeli supercentenarian who was recognised as the World's Oldest Man from the death of Yasutaro Koide on 19 January 2016 until his own death on 11 August 2017. He was also the oldest living Holocaust survivor at the time of his death.[1][2] He is also the second-oldest European-born man ever, behind Joan Riudavets-Moll.


Kristal was born in the village of Malenie near Zarnow (Pol. Żarnów), Russian Empire (now Poland), on 15 September 1903. Now, the village is part of Lodz Voivodeship. His mother died when he was young. His father was drafted during World War I and young Israel was forced to work hard to make a living. Due to the War, he never had a Bar Mitzvah.

In 1920, he moved to Lodz. He married in 1928 at the age of 25. Together with his wife, they ran a confectionary factory. After the outbreak of World War II, Lodz became occupied by the Germans. In 1940, the Kristal family was forced by the Nazis to move into a special Jewish district called the Litzmannstadt Ghetto. Yisrael Kristal lived in the ghetto between 1940–1944. His first wife and their two children died in the Holocaust. In 1944, Yisrael Kristal was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Later, he was a prisoner of a few other labour camps and, was finally freed in May 1945. He returned to Lodz and restarted his confectionery business, married again and had a son. In 1950, the family left Poland and settled in Haifa, Israel, where he resided at the time of his death.[3][4][5]

Kristal was internationally recognized as the oldest living Holocaust survivor in 2014, upon the passing of Alice Herz-Sommer of London, United Kingdom (although he was in fact older than her at the time). He was officially recognized as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on 11 March 2016.[6]

On 13 September 2016, he turned 113 and celebrated Bar micva, a traditional Jewish ceremony normally held at a time a boy is 13, which he couldn't have had then due to World War I.

Kristal died in Haifa, Israel on 11 August 2017 at the age of 113 years, 330 days.[7]



World's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (V • TE)

Sylvester Melvin • Joseph Saint-Amour • William Fullingim • John Mosley Turner
Friedrich Wedeking • Frederick Butterfield • Jean Teillet • Charlie Nelson • Charlie Phillips • Mathew Beard • Joe Thomas • Herman Smith-Johannsen • Alphaeus Philemon Cole • John Evans • Henri Perignon • James Wiggins • Frederick Frazier • Josep Armengol-Jover • Christian Mortensen • Johnson Parks • Walter Richardson • Denzo Ishizaki • Antonio Urrea-Hernandez • John Painter • Antonio Todde • Yukichi Chuganji • Joan Riudavets-Moll • Fred Hale • Emiliano Mercado del Toro • Tomoji Tanabe • Henry Allingham • Walter Breuning • Jiroemon Kimura • Salustiano Sanchez • Arturo Licata • Alexander Imich • Sakari Momoi • Yasutaro Koide • Israel Kristal • Francisco Nunez Olivera • Masazo NonakaChitetsu WatanabeBob WeightonEmilio Flores MarquezSaturnino de la Fuente GarciaJuan Vicente Perez Mora

Israel's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Maria Pogonowska • Unknown • Israel Kristal • Unknown • Henya Rabinov • Heinke Gilad • Simion KennerRebecca AsherMarcello Reichstein