When war broke out in 1939, Chaim was 17. The German forces entered Sosnowiec early in September and took over Wolf’s factory. The family would pray in secret as synagogue attendance wasn’t allowed. During this time, Chaim’s uncle taught him to be a mechanic – a skill which would prove very useful to Chaim. In 1943 the family moved into a ghetto created a few miles from Sosnowiec living under terrible conditions. Later in the year, Chaim was taken to a labour camp called Klettendoff, working as a bricklayer before a transfer to Faulbruck camp where he worked in a factory making bullets for the German army. After a few months he was transferred again, to Gräditz labour camp and then Annaberg camp in April 1944.