Holocaust survivor speaks in Vail | VailDaily.com

Holocaust survivor speaks in Vail

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com

VAIL — 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 fiance (by this time her real-life fiance 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.

Cohn will share her remarkable story Wednesday at the Arrabelle at Vail Square at 7 p.m. during an event coordinated and sponsored by the Chabad Jewish Center of Vail and co-sponsored by the Vail Daily and the Arrabelle.

"It is rare that we have the opportunity in our lifetime to meet a heroine the likes of Marthe Cohn," said Rabbi Dovid Mintz, of the Chabad Jewish Center. "Come hear this remarkable woman tell her incredible story of courage, faith and espionage".

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."

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Tickets and more information is available at http://www.jewishvail.com or by calling 970-476-7887. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Sponsorships are available for $180.