Martha Schlamme never set out to have an international career as a singer -- the international part was forced on her by Adolph Hitler, and she brought the voice. Born Martha Haftel in 1922, she was the only daughter of Meier Haftel and the former Gisa Braten -- her parents were Orthodox Jews, and her father owned a kosher restaurant in Vienna, where Martha grew up. At age 15, she was forced to leave Vienna with the forced annexation of Austria by Hitler's Germany, escaping through France to England. Her parents initially occupied an awkward, almost impossible legal netherworld in England -- despite being refugees from Nazi persecution, as Austrian nationals they were legally enemy aliens, and were forced into an internment camp on the Isle of Man. Martha could have avoided this but instead took her place alongside them, and it was while in the internment camp that she met a fellow "enemy alien," Engel Lund, an Icelandic singer who took an interest in the girl's voice and sent her to teachers who could help her develop this talent. From there on out, her course was set. Once released from the camp, she was able to start singing, first in small venues and later on the BBC, and in various theaters in London. After the war, she studied the piano with Ferdinand Rauter and voice with Emmy Heim. In 1948, she married Hans Schlamme and the couple later emigrated to America.