Max Oehler was born in Blessenbach im Taunus (today part of Weinbach). His father, Oskar Ulrich Oehler (1838–1901), was a Lutheran minister and the brother of Franziska Nietzsche, Friedrich and Elisabeth Nietzsche's mother. Max Oehler's mother was Auguste Oehler (née Forst) (1847–1920). Like his brother Richard Oehler, a librarian, and his cousin Adalbert Oehler, a low-ranking government official, Max Oehler became involved in Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche's "Nietzsche-Archiv," which thus became sort of a family business.
Oehler married then 18-year-old Annemarie Lemelson in 1911, with whom he had several children.