- Max Shattner (previously Meschulim Schattner) was born in Zablotow, Poland in 1906 to Chaim and Esther Schattner. His father was a Chassid and also a businessman. Max had five siblings: Jacob, Bernard, Nathan, Yitzchak, and Jente. Max and his family moved to Vienna in approximately 1914 and then relocated to Berlin in approximately 1927. Reb Chaim had a synagogue in his house and was involved in Jewish charitable work, in addition to commerce. Max and his brothers supported themselves by managing rental properties. In October 1938 Nathan, and his wife and two children, left Bobowa, Poland where they were living, for New York.
Very early in the morning of October 28, 1938, Max and his brothers Bernard and Jacob were forcibly taken from their apartment in Berlin as part of the so-called Polish action, and deported to Poland. Because they were officially considered Poles, the public prosecutor's office prohibited them from staying in Germany. The brothers managed to get new passports in Krakow, and then fled to Antwerp. Around the time the Nazis conquered Belgium, in May 1940, Max and his brothers fled to Marseilles where they lived in hiding until they managed to enter Switzerland, illegally, on October 4, 1942.
In Switzerland, the Schattner brothers were housed in six different locations under the supervision of the VSJF, the Swiss Jewish Refugee Relief Organization: Wald, Corbeyier, Beatenberg, Meringen, Clarens, and Dietikon. During their stay they were trained in pattern-cutting and for a short time Max was employed as an intern at a clothing manufacturer. Finally, after several years of failed attempts to immigrate to the United States, Max left Switzerland for New York on August 16, 1947. Brothers Jacob and Bernard followed on October 26, 1947.
Unfortunately, at least three members of the Schattner family did not survive the holocaust. Max’s father, Chaim, died in Theresienstadt in December 1943, his sister Jente, perished in Auschwitz in May 1944, and his brother Yitzchak was killed somewhere in Poland.
Max worked in the Accounting Department of the Environmental Protection Agency of the City of New York until he retired in 1974. He enjoyed classical music very much, especially opera. In 1972 Max's son, Howard, made a recording of his father singing a few of his favorite German and Hebrew songs. He donated this recording to the Holocaust Museum in 2010. Max died on July 29, 1977 at the age of seventy one.