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by Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times
On Sunday, March 3, 98-year-old Marthe Cohn will share her story of bravery and espionage at the Dana Point Community House.
“It is rare that we have the opportunity in our lifetime to meet a heroine like Marthe Cohn,” said director of Chabad of Dana Point, Rabbi Eli, who is coordinating her visit. “I really hope every resident of our community – young and old – comes to hear this remarkable woman share her story.”
Cohn was born in Metz, France in 1920. As a practicing Jewish woman, she lived across the German border in France at the time that Adolph Hitler rose to power.
As the Nazi occupation escalated, Cohn’s sister was sent to the Auschwitz internment camp while her family fled to the south of France. Cohn fought back by joining the intelligence service of the First French Army.
With her German accent and Aryan appearance, Cohn posed as a German nurse searching for information about a fictional fiancé. She traveled the countryside and approached troops sympathetic to her devised plight, obtaining critical information for the Allied commanders.
Cohn has received many honors, most notably France’s highest military honor, the Médaille Militaire, for facing death daily to defeat the Nazi Empire.
In 2002, Marthe penned her memoir, Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany, which will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
“We are trying to spread a little light,” Rabbi Eli said, “the best way to fight hatred is with education, and this is an important event for anybody to see.”
The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Dana Point Community House, 24642 San Juan Ave. Reservations and book purchase can be made online at JewishDanaPoint.com, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Seating is limited and reservations can be made by Thursday, Feb 28. There will be a book signing following the lecture. Event sponsorship opportunities are available at JewishDanaPoint.com