Jewish spy in Nazi Germany visits Saskatchewan
Marthe Cohn was a Jewish spy in Nazi Germany, who posed as a German nurse searching for her fiancée.
“It was very scary, because I risked to be arrested several times,” said Cohn, who is in Regina for a speech delivery.
Cohn and her family lived close to the German border in France. Her sister was sent to Auschwitz, and her family fled to a safer part of the country.
But Cohn chose to stay, and fight. Her ability to speak German at the time secured her spot with the Intelligence Service of the French army.
She approached troops, and collected critical information for her country.
“How was I going to tell them that I’m a friend, and not an enemy?” she recounted.
But she found success. She interrogated prisoners to learn about the Germans’ plans of retreat, and she gained insight of future invasions.
She said she had a few close calls of being caught, but she was able to think quickly to get out of those situations safely.
“I was lucky, I am extremely lucky,” she explained. “I always find the right answers at the right time.”
For her bravery and service, Cohn received a number of medals of recognition. One of those medals is France’s highest military honour, the Legion of Honour.
“That mission was very important to me,” Cohn said. “I did the maximum I could.”
Now 98, Cohn travels and shares her story, which is also told in her book Behind Enemy Lines.
She will be speaking at an event in Regina on Tuesday, January 8, and again in Saskatoon on Thursday, January 10.