Mattie was born on 19.1.1920, in Lodz, Poland, to Tzvi and Sarah, once well-off Jews who had been financially ruined by the government decrees against Jewish business owners.
Mattie studied in the Hebrew Gymnasium. His education at home was traditional. He joined Beitar, and in 1938 he made aliyah on a Mapilim ship, with the illegal immigration program of Beitar and the IZL. His parents and lone brother Raphael remained in Poland and perished in the Holocaust.
Once he arrived, he joined the recruitment company of Beitar in Ekron. He worked in agriculture, and he joined the IZL. In 1940, after the split, he moved to Lehi. In August 1940, he was arrested by the British and sent to Mizra and Latrun detention camps. In 1943, he was one of twenty Lehi prisoners who escaped from Latrun by way of a tunnel; Mattie was one of the main planners. He dedicated himself heart and soul to the underground.
In April 1944, he exchanged fire with British police in the street. He wounded a police officer, but was wounded himself and captured. He used his subsequent trial as a platform to protest the British occupation, as there was wide interest in the media concerning it. He was at first sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life imprisonment. He was sent to Acre Prison, and he served there as the mukhtar, the representative of the prisoners before the authorities. He was behind a plan to build a tunnel for escape, but this never came to fruition. Instead, there was a massive jailbreak from Acre carried out by the IZL in May 1947, but he was injured and captured. He tried to escape from the hospital by dressing as a woman, but he failed. He was sent to Jerusalem Central Prison, from which he escaped in February 1948, with eleven others, by way of a tunnel whose mouth was at the sewer outside the prison walls. He returned to active duty, establishing the Fighters’ Party. After the Bernadotte assassination, he was arrested together with Natan Yellin-Mor, was court-martialed, and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment due to underground activity. He was freed due to the general clemency.
In 1949, he published his memoir, In the Red Days, which was widely disseminated, translated into Yiddish and reprinted by the Ministry of Defense in 1987.
In the 1950’s he owned Ketavim Press. Until 1974, he ran industrial factories, a contracting company, an art gallery and a restaurant in Old Jaffa.
He joined the Herut Movement in 1972, and in 1980, he became the Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office for Menachem Begin. He served in this capacity for about five years, under Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir as well. After retiring, he continued to be a Likud activist.
Mattie passed away on 3.12.1995, and he was buried in the Lehi part of the Yarkon Cemetery. He left behind a wife, the poet S. Shifra, and two daughters from a previous marriage.