Max Notowitz (born Manius Notowicz) is the son of Ida (Schmidek) and Osias Jehoshua Notowicz. He was born October 31, 1927 in Kolbuszowa, Poland. He had two siblings: Leon (b. 1932) and Niunia (b. 1926). Osias Notowicz served as the deputy to the head of the Kolbuszowa Jewish Council. He was arrested and deported to Auschwitz in 1941. A few weeks later the family was notified by telegram that Osias had been shot while trying to escape. In July 1942 the Notowicz family was resettled in the Rzeszow ghetto along with the rest of the Jewish population of Kolbuszowa. Within a few days Manius and other able-bodied men were selected for forced labor and sent back to Kolbuszowa, where a labor camp had been established. His mother and siblings were deported to their death in the Belzec death camp on July 14, 1942. Manius escaped from the Kolbuszowa labor camp in November 1942, along with forty other prisoners. With the aid of a Polish peasant, Michal Bajor, Manius managed to survive the war in the forests near Kolbuszowa. After the war, he returned to Kolbuszowa, where he remained for about a year. In the spring of 1946, Simcha left for Germany. From the American zone of occupation he hoped to emigrate to the U.S. Having secured a false birth certificate, claiming his place of birth to be Breslau (Wroclaw), Manius was able to obtain American immigration papers as part of the German quota. He sailed aboard the SS Marine Flasher from Bremerhaven and arrived in New York in May 1947.