Pawel Parniak (1890?-2006) was a Polish WWI veteran and longevity claimant whose age claim was later debunked.
Paweł Parniak of Woliborz, Poland (27 February 1890? in Nowosiółka Biskupia – 27 March 2006 in Woliborz) claimed to be the world's oldest living person and oldest combat veteran ever. He gained international attention in 2002, when he was named Poland's oldest man by the Polish Book of Records.
Parniak claimed to have been born in 27 February 1890 in Nowosiółka Biskupia, an area that is now part of the Zbruchans'ke, Ukraine and at the time of his birth belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He died in Woliborz, Poland on 27 March 2006 at the claimed age of 116 years and 10 days. At the time of his death he had 11 grandchildren, 32 great grand-children and 22 great-great-grandchildren.
However, the birthdates of his parents (1870 and 1875) suggest he may have been about five years younger. The claim is also doubted because there have been other Polish claims as high as age 120, and it was common for Polish men to inflate their age to avoid service in World War II. However, that strategy, if employed here, was not effective, as Pawel was forced into service anyway.
Later research indicated that Pawel was "only" 107, not 116, at death.
Apart from his age, Parniak's status as a surviving World War I veteran made him a person of interest for those interested in Polish and World War I history. He enlisted for the Austro-Hungarian army in 1914. In 1919, he joined the Polish army. From 1926 to 1932, he had emigrated to Canada seeking employment. During World War II he was recruited again and suffered several stabbing wounds inflicted by a Ukrainian soldier, but survived this.
- wiadomości.wp.pl (2006-02-27). "116. urodziny pana Pawła - Wiadomości - WP.PL" (in Polish). Wiadomosci.wp.pl. http://wiadomosci.wp.pl/kat,1342,title,116-urodziny-pana-Pawla,wid,8205802,wiadomosc.html?ticaid=1fcd7. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- "Rekordowa długość życia - Polskie Rekordy i Osobliwości" (in Polish). Polskierekordy.pl. 2011-09-02. http://www.polskierekordy.pl/rekord/rekordowa-dlugosc-zycia. Retrieved 2013-06-11.