Holocaust survivor Marthe Cohn to speak at Union

Publication Date

By: Madalyn Borek '19

Chabad is hosting Holocaust survivor, Marthe Cohn at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 2 at the Nott Memorial. She will be sharing her story as a Jewish spy in Nazi Germany. The talk is titled "Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany, A Historic Evening with Marthe Cohn.”

Holocaust survivor Cohn was born in Metz, France in 1920. She was a young Jewish woman living just across the German border in France when Hitler rose to power. As the Nazi occupation escalated, Marthe's sister was sent to Auschwitz while her family fled to the South of France. Always a fighter, she joined the intelligence service of the First French. Utilizing her perfect German accent and Aryan looks, Marthe posed as a German nurse desperately trying to obtain word of a fictional fiance. She traveled the countryside and approached troops sympathetic to her "plight" thereby obtaining vital information about troop movements for the Allied commanders.

When, at age 80, Cohn was awarded France's highest military honor, the Medaille Militaire, not even her children knew to what extent this modest woman had faced death daily to defeat the Nazi Empire.

In 2002, Cohn penned her memoir "Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany.'' She lives with her husband in Palos Verdes, Calif. And travels internationally sharing her remarkable story. Her memoir will be available for sale and signing.