Max Sternschein was born in Czernowitz in the Austrian Empire [later Cernauti, Romania; today Chernivtsi, Ukraine] in 1897. He studied photography in Berlin and opened his own studio back in Czernowitz, specialising in theatre and ballet photography. He was married to Suzi and the couple had two children. He took many photos for ORT in the 1930s, documenting activities at the girls’ school in Cernauti [see images]. The full range of his ORT photos can be seen in the Ukraine photo gallery.
During the Second World War, Sternschein and his family were among the few Jews permitted to stay in Cernauti. Sadly, his beloved daughter was forced to move to Bessarabia, where she was murdered by the Nazis. After the war, the Sternscheins emigrated to Argentina, where Suzi had relatives. Max Sternschein died in Buenos Aires in 1950.