Khayim Goldberg was born in 1914 in Borisov, Belorussia. His father Moisei (Moishe), a dyer, had moved to Borisov from Ukraine long before World War I. Khayim grew in the multi-ethnic milieu of pre-World War II Borisov, acquiring fluency in four languages: Yiddish, Belorussian, Polish, and Russian. In 1919, the 5-year-old Khayim was sent to a kheyder, where he was instructed in a fifth language, Hebrew. For the rest of his life, despite not being religious, Goldberg would remain grateful to the local rabbi, who taught his pupils the ethical foundations of life, and to the kheyder:
"I am grateful to the kheyder. I have never used Hebrew in my life, and I quickly forgot it, but the excellent memory training that I had received there served me in good stead when I learned Latin and other required foreign languages". 1
At the age of 8, Khayim was sent to a Russian-language school. While studying there, he stopped attending the synagogue and observing Jewish traditions.
After seven years of schooling, Khayim worked as an apprentice blacksmith, and then at the town's power station. In 1937-39, he served in the Red Army. After his discharge, he went to Moscow and enrolled in the Faculty of History of the Moscow Pedagogical Institute.
With the beginning of the Soviet-German war, Khayim Goldberg volunteered for a militia battalion that was to take part in the defense of the capital city. From the militia, he, as a former student of history and Party member, was sent to the Artillery and Tank Department of the Military Political Academy, which had been recently evacuated to the Urals. In May 1942, having completed a shortened course, Lieutenant Goldberg was transferred to the Political Administration of the Central Front. From there, he was sent to a tank academy. In July 1943, Khayim Goldberg returned to the Central Front and, as the commander of a tank –later of a tank platoon – he took part in the Kursk Salient operation. Later, when the Central Front was renamed the 1st Belorussian Front, he was appointed the commander of the communications platoon of the staff of the 36th Tank Brigade. In this capacity, he repeatedly engaged in tank combat against the enemy. He received three military awards for combat: the "For Courage" medal – for his actions in Western Ukraine and Poland in 1944, and two Orders of the Patriotic war, 2nd and 1st class, respectively – for his actions in Poland and Germany in 1945. Goldberg was wounded twice, but both injuries were relatively minor. He finished the war in Berlin.
After the war, despite his expressed desire to pursue his studies at the Pedagogical Institute, Goldberg was forced to continue his military service. His request to return him to political work was satisfied, and he continued to serve as deputy commander for political matters at the regiment and division level – first in Germany, and later in the Soviet Far East. In 1957, Goldberg was finally discharged from the Army, and, until his retirement in 1980, he worked with the Far Eastern Steamship Company, sailing in the Pacific and the Arctic.
Since his retirement, Khayim Goldberg has lived in Vladivostok.