Martin was born in 1974 in Gdynia, Poland which, at the time, was a nominally independent communist dictatorship occupied by the USSR. The economic conditions were generally bleak under communist rule. They became even worse in 1981 when the Polish government, at the request of the USSR, crushed the Solidarity movement and imprisoned its leaders for seeking political and economic change.
When Martin was 9 years old, he and his parents moved to a small desert town in Libya where his father taught at a university and his mother worked as an engineer in a factory to earn dollars and make ends meet. After three eventful and surreal years of living in a country ruled by the late Muammar Gaddafi, one of the craziest dictators of our time, Martin and his parents immigrated to Germany. Martin stopped the homeschooling that he received from his parents and other professors in Libya and began attending a German middle school. To make things more interesting he did not know any German.