At the age of 19, during the Stalinist era, Chaim was uprooted from his life in a Polish shtetl and sent to jail in Siberia on a trumped up charge. Lucky to survive, he was released after two years, and met his wife, Tania in Pavlodar, Siberia in 1943. By 1946 they were residents of a displaced persons camp in Kassel, Germany, where Chaim worked with the American and Jewish administration to manage the camps and to re-locate the refugees. Chaim and his family arrived in Melbourne Australia in December 1949 and almost immediately Chaim embarked on a business venture with his younger brother Jack. Within a few years the two brothers had established a viable business, which before long grew into a thriving business empire.