Naftali was the youngest of nine children born to devout Hasidic Jewish parents living in Kolbuszowa. The Germans invaded his town in September 1939 and began to round up Jews. Later, the Gestapo (German secret state police) shot Naftali's father. Naftali eventually made his way to the forest and lived there as a partisan before liberation by Soviet troops in mid-1944. He joined the Polish army, helping to liberate Krakow. He immigrated to the United States in 1947.
Spring of 1940, they made a registra...registration, so they...all the Jews had to be registered. And then they used to make like..there came a few high officers from Czechowice, and they took us in a big...uh...building and they made like a selection. From the people who were registered, they picked out, at this time, two hundred young boys and we had to...uh...come to the places where trucks were waiting. And they sold...and they send us to a labor camp. This was the first time they made this registration. And the labor camp was in a town...in a village called Lipie. This was near a town Nowy Sacz. This was near...uh...the southern border...uh...this was in the Carpathians...in the mountains. And this was a very...that the camp was...uh...our work was that we had to break rocks. It was like a quarry and we had to break rocks, but the problem was that what we did...when we broke up the rocks, we had to transport them to a place on hand wagons, on wheelbarrows, and the next day we took the same rocks and we brought them back to the first place. And this was our work. It was very hard work.