Second World War spy to share her tales of valour with Calgarians
Published Monday, March 25, 2019 9:49PM MDT
A 98-year-old Jewish woman is set to regale an audience of Calgarians with stories from her extraordinary experience as a spy in Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
Marthe Cohn had attempted to join the resistance after one of her sisters was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Her offer to help was refused due to her diminutive stature but the French army soon realized her potential value as an undercover agent.
Despite her Jewish heritage, Cohn spoke perfect German and had blonde hair and blue eyes. At the age of 24, Cohn portrayed a German nurse who was actively searching for her missing fiancé. The young woman found herself face-to-face with the enemy on many occasions. “You had to answer real fast. You couldn’t waste any time. How my answers came, I never understood, but they came” laughed Cohn. “It was the right answers every time that got me out of trouble.”
She successfully secured information from sympathetic troops she encountered during her travels and the information was credited with helping end the war. Cohn was awarded medals for her bravery including the highest military honours of France and Germany.
Her memoirs, ‘Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French-Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany’, have been published and Cohn continues to travel the world sharing her experiences. Cohn is scheduled to speak at the Jack Singer Concert Hall at Arts Commons on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m.
With files from CTV’s Alesia Fieldberg