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Tel Aviv Soccer Team Celebrates World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivor’s Birthday

maccabi survivor

Players for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Barak Itzhaki and Eden Ben Basat, along with club owner Mitch Goldhar, celebrated the birthday of the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, Israel Krysztal, who turned 111.

Israel lives in Haifa. The Maccabi team members brought a birthday cake, balloons, and a jersey with the number 111 on it. He told the story of how he was born in Zarnow Poland where his family owned a confectionery. He was in the Lodz ghetto with his first wife, and later was imprisoned in Auschwitz where his wife perished. After the war, he emigrated to Israel in 1950.

Mitch Goldhar, who owns Maccabi Tel Aviv, joined the party and said, “We cannot comprehend the challenges you have endured, but we can and are incredibly inspired by your courage and spirit.”

Barak Itzhaki said, “I left the visit with a great sense of hope and pride, pride that was born before the First World War, survived the Second World War and the Holocaust, and is head of a family of 24 great grandchildren. Celebrating his 111th birthday is undoubtedly one of the most exciting events of my life. I thank Israel and his family for their hospitality, smile and big heart.”

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