Max (Mordechai) Schanzer (later Netzer) is the son of Josef and Bertha (Turteltaub) Schanzer. He was born on March 16, 1926 in Essen German where his father and uncle owned a photo studio. His older brother Bernd (Dov) was born on January 18, 1924. Max belonged to the Hakoah sports club and attended the Israelitsche Volkschule in Essen. After the Nazi takeover his family suffered discrimination and humiliation. On one occasion, a Nazi beat and wounded Max's father. Despite the fact that both boys were born in Germany, they officially were Polish citizens. On October 28, 1938 the German government deported the Schanzers, together with some 17,000 other Polish Jews, back to Poland. A train brought them from the central station in Essen to the Polish border. From there, they continued on foot through a forest to the small town of Zbaszyn where they were interned by the Poles. Finally in August 1939 the Polish government granted them permission to live elsewhere in Poland, and Josef decided to move the family to Bielsko to stay with his sister. Their freedom, however, was short-lived. A few weeks later on September 1, 1939, World War II broke out. The family boarded an evacuation train and fled eastwards to Komarno, a small town near Lvov and two months later settled in Lvov which was under Soviet control. Bernd joined a Hachshara near Bialystok. Following the Soviet occupation, the members of hachshara fled to Vilna, and six months later, Bernd immigrated to Palestine with Youth Aliyah. In spring 1940 Soviet authorities arrested Max and his parents, deported them to Siberia and forced the adults to work in the forest. After they regained their freedom in autumn 1941, they traveled 2000 miles south to Kazakhstan. However, Max and his parents still continued to experience hunger, illness and hardship. In 1946, the Soviets permitted them to repatriate to Poland. Six weeks later the Bricha brought them to the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons' camp where Max stayed on a kibbutz hachshara until his immigration to Palestine in February 1948 on board the Transylvania.