Life lessons from 100-year-old Holocaust survivor

- Max Fontak of Westbury, Long Island, is proof that age is just a number.

"I'm 100. I don't know how I reached it," he said, "but it's a miracle—just a miracle."

A miracle because Fontak, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Sunday, didn't expect to make it past his 20s. His parents and three of his siblings were murdered in the gas chambers in Auschwitz but he and his brother Bernard somehow survived five Nazi work camps.

"Being in concentration camp and all of the camps was a terrible experience," he said. "I didn't believe that I was going to survive, frankly."

It was physical labor—12-hour stretches digging ditches for factories and surviving on a piece of bread a day. Fontak believes his painful story is an important one to tell.

"Never forget because if you will forget they're going to try to tell you that it never happened," Fontak said.

His youngest daughter, Gloria Jacobson, considers herself lucky.

"My mother died four years ago—it was devastating," she said. "And to have my father still around—it's a lot to my whole family."

His secret to staying young? He exercises every morning and steers clear of sugar and alcohol.

"Try to enjoy every minute you can," Fontak said. "You don't live forever."

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