Max Treu was born on 30 October 1870 in Stolp. At that time, Stolp was in the Prussian province of Pomerania. Today it is called Słupsk and is in Poland. At an unknown point in his life, Max Treu moved to Berlin. He married twice and had two sons from his first marriage: Paul Max Willi Treu (born on 4 June 1895) and Martin Fritz Karl Treu (born on 13 September 1897). Max Treu’s second wife Frieda Treu, née Löwenthal, was also a native of Pomerania.
Max Treu was a Protestant but one of his parents was Jewish. His wife Frieda was also Jewish. The Nazi regime therefore categorized him as a “Jew by legal validity” and he was fully targeted by Nazi persecution.
At the time of their deportation, Max Treu and his wife Frieda lived at Friedenstraße 27 in Friedrichshain, Berlin, and were supported financially by Max Treu’s two sons. His elder son, Paul Max Willi Treu, was the main tenant of the 3½-room ground-floor apartment where they lived. His brother Martin Fritz Karl Treu lived in Koblenz.
Before his deportation, Max Treu informed the authorities that his son was a Protestant and holder of a military passport, and had just recently returned from the front due to illness. But the fact that Paul Max Willi Treu would have been categorized a “second-degree crossbreed Jew” and was a front-line soldier did not save Max Treu and his wife from deportation.
Max Treu was deported with his wife Frieda on 29 June 1943 on the 92nd “transport of the elderly” to Theresienstadt. He died there on 20 January 1944, aged 73. He probably succumbed to the dire conditions in the camp. Frieda Treu died before him, on 30 November 1943. She was 59 years old. It is not known what happened to Max Treu’s two sons.