A 112-year-old who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II has become the world’s oldest man.

Polish-born Israel Kristal, who lost his wife and two children in the Holocaust, achieved the feat on 11 March, aged 112 years and 178 days.

When presented with his certificate by Guinness World Records (GWR) at his home in Haifa, Israel, Mr Kristal said he did not 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.”

World's oldest man Israel Kristal with Marco Frigatti of Guinness World Records, son Heim Kristal, daughter Shula Kuperstoch and great grandchildren

Mr Kristal with his son Heim, daughter Shula and grandchildren

Marco Frigatti, GWR’s head of records, said: “Mr Kristal’s achievement is remarkable.

“He can teach us all an important lesson about the value of life and how to stretch the limits of human longevity.”

Mr Kristal, who was born on 15 September 1903 into a Jewish Orthodox family, survived the First World War despite being separated from his parents.

He moved to Lodz in Poland in 1920, where he began work in the family confectionery business.

But following the Nazi invasion of Poland and occupation of Lodz in 1939, he and his family were moved to a ghetto.

Mr Kristal survived slave labour in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps, but his wife and children were killed.

When he was rescued by Allied forces in May 1945, he weighed just 37kg (81lb).

In 1950, he emigrated with his second wife and their son to Israel where he started his own confectionery business.

Mr Kristal takes the title of the world’s oldest man from Yasutaro Koide of Japan, who died in January aged 112 years and 312 days.

The oldest living person in the world is American Susannah Mushatt Jones, who was 115 years and 249 days old on 11 March.

The oldest person ever to have lived is also female – Jeanne Calment, from France, who lived to 122 years and 164 days.