Maximilian was a highly accomplished lawyer-turned-diplomat for the Third Reich. He was born to an affluent family in Zittau, a small town on the borders of Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. His father was a physician an his mother a school teacher, both his brothers were also physicians. Like most affluent men, he was able to arrange a one-year-only commission n the German army; a year he would subsequently cite as notable only for animal (equine) husbandry. His experiences were so negative that he continued to regard most things military with disdain. To him, and to his family, the military was a repository for less-educated men who could not, or did not want to, take up a proper profession. So it was that he managed to circumvent the usual two year conscription. Upon completion of his Einjaehrige, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the reserves, and he went on to law school at the University of Jena.