Max Drimmer passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 14, 2012. He was a survivor, a long time congregant, and a past president of B’nai Emunah, who lived and served with strength, resilience and faith.
Max’s parents immigrated from Poland to Germany in the early 1900s. He was born in Magdeburg, Germany. When he was two, his parents settled in Berlin, and he was raised there as an orthodox Jew. In April 1933, he became a Bar Mitzvah on the day of the first official boycott of the Jewish People. On that day he knew he had to leave the country; he began an apprenticeship as a kosher baker so that he would have a profession when he left the country.
Life for Jewish people in Germany became harder and harder. Max’s father went to Poland. His sister went illegally to Belgium in the middle of 1938 and survived the war in a French camp. On November 9, 1938, the Crystal Nacht, the family lost their business and living quarters. Three weeks later Max tried to cross illegally into Holland but was caught and spent four weeks in jail before being sent back to Berlin. Hitler marched into Poland on September 1, 1939, and all Polish men were arrested, wherever they were. Max was put into Sachsenhausen, near Berlin, for three years and then was transported in the famous boxcars to Auschwitz. He was there for two years when, with the help of a Polish civilian co-worker, he escaped on September 2, 1944 with his friend Herman Shine. They miraculously survived in hiding until the Russian army liberated them at the end of January 1945. When he returned to Berlin, he discovered that his parents had not survived. Max married in February 1946.
Max finally came to the United States in March 1947, settling in San Francisco. His sons Jack and Jeff were born in 1947 and 1959. They joined B’nai Emunah in 1972, where he formed the Men’s Club and served as president twice, each time for six years. Unfortunately Max lost his wife in July 1999. He loved his fellow members and was a lifetime board member.
Our condolences are with Max’s entire family at this moment.
The Funeral Service will be at Sinai Memorial Chapel on Sunday, August 19, at 11:00am. Graveside service to follow at Salem Memorial.
We will miss Max.
May his memory be for a blessing.