Tsitkil Azarievich Naftaliev was born on June 6, 1925 in Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia. Until the revolution his father pursued a religious education, on track for rabbinical ordination, but in 1920 he was drafted to the Red Army. At the age of six Tsitkil went to a school that was affiliated with a synagogue, where early education was in Hebrew and then continued in Tat language (Southwestern Iranian language related to Persian, and spoken by the Tats in Azerbaijan). In 1942 he completed eighth grade and worked at a sewing factory that sewed military uniforms. In May 1943 he volunteered for the army, but in August he was seriously wounded near Donetsk. Discharged from the hospital in March 1944, Naftaliev fought with the 87th Guards Mechanized Division, tank radio transmissions. He participated in the liberation of Sevastopol and in the storming of Konigsberg, and was awarded with the Medal “For Bravery.” After demobilization Naftaliev worked on construction engineering projects. He emigrated to Israel in 1996. Interview was recorded in on March 8, 2008 in Tel Aviv.

Battle on the Mius River.

German atrocities against the Mountain Jews.

Going on a solo mission.