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112 Year Old Holocaust Survivor Finally Gets a Bar Mitzvah

The New York Daily News reports: After 100 years of waiting, the oldest man alive is finally getting the celebration he deserves.

Israel Kristal (pictured), a 112-year-old Holocaust survivor didn’t get to celebrate becoming a man according to Jewish tradition. When he turned 13 — the typical time to celebrate a bar or bat mitzvah, a coming of age ceremony — it was 1916, and World War I was unfolding around him.

“His father was in the Russian army, his mother had died three years before,” Kristal’s daughter Schulamit Kristal Kuerstoch told the Local Germany. “No one was celebrating in this moment.”

And about 30 years later, still having never recognized the milestone, Kristal was deported to Auschwitz as World War II invaded his Polish homeland.

He lost both his wife and their two children to the Holocaust, but he was freed when American soldiers liberated his concentration camp.

Kristal, who also holds the Guinness world record for being the oldest man alive, will celebrate his 113th birthday on Thursday, and his family is using the occasion to celebrate his century-long overdue bar mitzvah.

Read more here.

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