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***Behind Enemy Lines

The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany

by Marthe Cohn

with Wendy Holden

Reviewed February 5, 2005.
Harmony Books, New York, 2002.  282 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (B COH).

Marthe Cohn was born in German-speaking Metz, France in 1920, a short way over the border from the part of Germany where I live now.  She was a young adult when Hitler’s forces invaded France.  Her family kept moving to stay away from the line of Nazi occupation, but it kept catching up with them.

Marthe was able to get a nursing degree in Paris, thanks to false papers that didn’t reveal that she was a Jew.  As a Jew, she wasn’t wanted when she tried to join the Resistance, but her fiancé was executed for his actions.

After their part of France was liberated, Marthe finally found French forces willing to let her work.  Since Marthe spoke German fluently, she was chosen to go across the German lines and try to find out their positions.  A young woman didn’t look suspicious, and she was able to gain valuable information for the French forces, hastening the end of the war.

At the age of eighty, in the year 2000, she was awarded France’s highest military honors for her service.  Behind Enemy Lines tells her exciting and amazing story of an ordinary girl caught up in extraordinary times.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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