Holocaust survivor shares story of being a spy in Nazi Germany
A 97-year-old Holocaust survivor was in Spokane Wednesday night to share her incredible story of survival, endurance, and strength.
Marthe Cohn’s story is nothing short of extraordinary. Not only did she survive the Holocaust, she actually helped end WWII. Hundreds of people packed into the Spokane Convention Center to hear her remarkable story.
Cohn was in her late teens when Hitler was rising to power. She was a Jewish girl living in France and her family started taking in Jews who were fleeing the Nazis. Cohn’s sister was arrested for refusing to give the Nazis any information. She was eventually sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp and never returned.
Cohn finished her nursing studies in France and in 1944, convinced the French army to let her join. She was made a social owrker, but when a colonel found out Cohn was able to speak German as well as she could speak French she was offered a spot on the French Intelligence Service.
“They asked me to devise my own alibi so that it sticks better. So, I devised an alibi, presented it, and it was accepted,” Cohn said.
After crossing into Germany, Cohn was able to learn and share intelligence on the Germans’ defensive lines and where German forces were hiding.
Because of her bravery, Cohn is now a decorated spy. She’s been awarded several military medals and honors by the French government.
In 2002, Cohn wrote a book about her extraordinary experiences, “Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany.”
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