Josef Slaim was born in Lipa, Poland but grew up in Czepiec, Poland. In 1935, he was drafted into the Polish army, where he served four years. At the start of the war, Josef deserted and went back to his family in Czepiec. Soon after, he was sent to a labor camp where he was made Judenälteste. Josef was sent to several other camps during the war, including Tarnowitz, Blechhammer, Gross-Rosen and Buchenwald. On a death march, he stole an SS officer's uniform and impersonated him until the war was over. After the war, Josef ran a factory in Germany before moving to Israel and finally the United States.
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