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Short biography
Max Bornstein was born to a Jewish family in Warsaw, Poland. When he was just under two years old, he and his pregnant mother went to Canada with the help of her family, leaving behind Max's father, who could not obtain a passport, in Paris. In 1933, just as the Nazi regime came to power in Germany, Max's mother made the fateful decision to return to Paris with her two children and reunite with her husband. As stateless refugees, they lived in abject poverty. In 1938, at age 16, Max got a job as an office boy at the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE), a Jewish charity organization, and became the family's primary breadwinner. Later that year, after nearly five years of struggle, his parents and sister were able to emigrate to Argentina. Max was trapped in France after Nazi Germany invaded in World War II. He attempted to flee across the southern border of France into Spain, where he wound up in Mirando de Ebro, the largest concentration camp for foreign prisoners. Max survived the war and returned to Canada in 1947. He and his wife Min were married in 1948 and had two children. His memoir If Home Is Not Here was published in 2012 as part of the Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs.
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