An evening with Marthe Cohn, Holocaust survivor
Special to the Tribune
Marthe Cohn was a devoutly religious 19-year-old French Jewish girl when the Nazis invaded France in 1939. Her life then took a turn so extraordinary that it could have been pulled straight from a Hollywood movie script.
While the rest of her family fled south, Marthe decided to fight back. After graduating from nursing school she joined the French resistance, and on account of her perfect German accent and Aryan appearance, she was recruited to be a spy. Carrying forged identification papers, she infiltrated German territory in the guise of a German nurse desperately searching for a fictional fiancé (by this time her real-life fiancé had been executed by the Nazis).
During the next year she mingled freely with Nazi troops, on many occasions caring for injured Nazi soldiers in order to maintain her cover. She gathered invaluable information on troop positions, which she secretly relayed to Allied commanders. Her intelligence gathering was instrumental in allowing the Allies to break through the Seigfried line and enter German territory in 1945, leading to the end of the war.
On Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., Cohn will share her story at the Ski Run Marina, an evening coordinated and sponsored by the Chabad Jewish Center of Lake Tahoe. Following the event, Cohn will be available to sign copies of her memoir, “Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany.”
Tickets and more information are available online at JewishTahoe or by calling 530-314-7677. Tickets cost $12 and $15 after Aug. 9 or at the door (walk-ins welcome while seats last). VIP pre-event cocktails hors doeuvres with Cohn at 6 p.m. and a signed copy of the book “Behind Enemy Lines” available for $54. Sponsorship for $500.
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