The world’s oldest person designation (whether it be man, woman, or the overall title) is a pretty depressing concept if you think about it. It’s a constantly rotating label because once named “world’s oldest” it’s only a matter of time until you head into the great beyond and pass the designation along to someone else. For a few months, maybe a year, you get to have bragging rights over everybody else in the world and then you die. Pretty much the biggest bummer of all of the Guinness World Records if you contemplate the meaning of it for more than a few seconds.
But for those few months, being the world’s oldest man must be a pretty awesome feeling. The current record holder is Yisrael Kristal, who was born in Poland all the way back in 1903 and now lives in Israel. According to BBC News,
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, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Mr Kristal’s wife was murdered in Auschwitz but he survived, performing slave labour in that and other camps.
It is a tragic story, but not one without happiness as well. He remarried and has children with his second wife, who moved with him to Israel. He also went back to running the confectionary business he was in charge of prior to World War II until he retired. At this point, he’s had many years of retirement to contemplate life and pick up some other hobbies. So what does he say is his secret to living a long life?
“There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men then me who are no longer alive,” he added.
“All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost.”
Sage advice, even if it isn’t a concrete plan for living until you are 112. We’ll get back to you if Yisreal changes his mind and decides the secret to long life is actually lots of sugar and a good massage once a week or something. You never know.
(via BBC News)