Naftali “Tuli” Deutsch was born in Kimyat, a village in Ruthenia (in what was then Czechoslovakia), and during WWII he survived multiple Nazi concentration camps, bearing unimaginable suffering. He eventually immigrated to America, and achieved remarkable success as a businessman in southern California. Tuli rarely tells his story, although the written version of it is a best-seller at Israel’s Holocaust Memorial and Archive, Yad Vashem.
In this interview, he talks about life in Kimyat prior to the war, and how his life changed in the camps as a young teen. He discusses his experiences in various concentration and work camps, especially in Gusen II, where he had to kill to survive. He describes his liberation, and his participation in the creation of Israel. He reflects on learning outside of the normal context of school, essentially as an autodidact.