Gustav Gerneth
Gustav Gerneth
Gustav Gerneth at age 109
Birth: 15 October 1905
Stettin, Prussia, German Empire (now Szczecin, Poland)
Age: 113 years, 191 days
Country: POL FlagPOLGER FlagGER
Gustav Gerneth (born 15 October 1905) is a German supercentenarian whose age is unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group. He is thought to be Germany's oldest living person since the passing of Herta Oeser on 13 March 2016. If validated, he would be the oldest person ever to be born and die or living in Germany (however, this title is still hold by verified Maria Laqua). Mr. Gerneth would also be the oldest living man in Europe (and possibly the world), and possibly be the oldest World War II veteran in the world.


Gustav Gerneth was born on 15 October 1905 in Stettin in the province of Pomerania, Prussia, which was then part of the German Empire but is now Poland. There, he was trained as machinist and started his career by seafaring in 1924. In 1930, he married his wife Charlotte Grubert, the daughter of his employer who owned a ship anchored in Havelberg. The couple raised three sons in Stettin, again. Mr. Gerneth serviced in World War II and was captured by Russian corps until 1947. Later the family moved to Havelberg and Gerneth worked in the local gas plant until his retirement in 1972. His wife died in 1988.

At the time of his 110th birthday, Gustav Gerneth was the seventh German man to become a supercentenarian. He was reported to have outlived his sons, being in their 80s, by the age of 109. Until the age of 107, he purchased everything on his own. Later, his family started taking care of him but Gerneth is still able to take care of himself, being interested in today's politics and sports.

On 15 October 2017, Gustav Gerneth celebrated his 112th birthday, being the first German man ever to do so. He was also the first ever German-born person to turn 113 (not counting emigrants). Being asked for his secret of longevity, Gerneth trusts in good meals (always butter, never margerine), no alcohol or cigarettes but also no active sports.

At the age of 113, he was reported living still on his own in Havelberg, inhabiting the same apartment for more than 45 years. His granddaughter takes care of him. After the death of Masazo Nonaka on 20 January 2019, Gerneth is a claimant to the title of the world’s oldest man, as well as possibly the last surviving man born in 1905.


Germany's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Margarethe Sauer • Katharina Braun • Leni Matthaei • Mathilde Schulz • Petronella Wansleban • Agnes Gerrath • Anna Fleinert • Bertha Brandes • Wilhelmine Heister • Gertrude Schmalohr • Maria Corba • Elfried Libbert • Paula Baumgartner • Gertrud Pannwitz • Ottilie Aleith • Karolina Kruger • Franziska Umrath • Pauline Spyra • Wilhelm Lehnen • Marie Stegmann • Wilhelm Schorner • Maria Laqua • Rosalia Hasenkampf • Magdalene Regener • Anna Stephan • Lina Zimmer • Hermann Dornemann • Frieda Muller • Irmgard von Stephani • Elsa Tauser • Frieda Borchert • Emma Joisten • Alwine Werner • Zhenya Broytman • Frieda Schmidt • Berta Zeisler • Charlotte Bauch • Karolina Grober • Elisabeth Schneider • Gertrud Henze • Frieda Szwillus • Johanna Klink • Charlotte Klamroth • Margarete Dannheimer • Else Ronsch • Herta Oeser • Gustav Gerneth