By Marthe Cohn, Wendy Holden
Marthe Cohn used to be a stunning younger Jewish lady dwelling simply around the German border in France while Hitler rose to strength. Her family members sheltered Jews fleeing the Nazis, together with Jewish young ones despatched away by means of their terrified mom and dad. yet quickly her place of birth used to be additionally below Nazi rule. because the Nazi career escalated, Marthe’s sister used to be arrested and despatched to Auschwitz. the remainder of her kin was once compelled to escape to the south of France. constantly a fighter, Marthe joined the French Army.
As a member of the intelligence provider of the French First military, Marthe fought valiantly to retrieve wanted within information regarding Nazi troop activities through slipping at the back of enemy strains, using her excellent German accessory and blond hair to pose as a tender German nurse who was once desperately attempting to receive observe of a fictional fiancé. via touring in the course of the nation-state and coming near near troops sympathetic to her plight, risking dying whenever she did so, she realized the place they have been going subsequent and used to be in a position to alert Allied commanders.
When, on the age of 80, Marthe Cohn was once offered France’s optimum army honor, the Médaille Militaire, now not even her youngsters knew to what quantity this modest lady had confronted demise day-by-day whereas assisting defeat the Nazi empire. At its middle, this notable memoir is the story of a regular person who, lower than amazing conditions, grew to become the hero her state wanted her to be.
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Additional info for Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany
Millions of refugees have been lining the structures, looking forward to trains to take them farther south. Their numbers have been swelled via an exceptional many Dutch and Belgians fleeing the German invasion. urgent on, I checked my watch and observed that the time was once 1:45. keen to not be past due, I crossed the bridge and commenced to climb the steep hill at the different facet. i used to be a couple of hundred yards above the railway tracks, in rue Boncennes, a residential road now not faraway from our store, whilst I heard airplanes impending. there has been not anything really strange in that. yet anything approximately those planes made me cease and search for. Squinting into the intense early afternoon sunlight, I first spotted how low they have been. there have been of them, getting decrease by way of the second one, coming directly alongside the railway tracks. As they neared, i spotted that they have been so low i'll really see the pilots sitting within. underneath every one cockpit i'll exceptionally make out the Italian flag. Enemy airplane. My belly did a turn yet I scolded myself for being so foolish. they have to be en path to in other places, I reasoned. This used to be Poitiers. It used to be thoroughly undefended and, in any occasion, there has been not anything the following for them to assault. I didn’t even lower away. but if I observed the 1st bomb fall, whilst i used to be blown again by way of the explosion and observed the smoke upward thrust in an exceptional plume from one of many homes farther down the tracks, my middle iced over. The teach. the availability educate. The station. The refugees. Oh my God, Cecile! Then there has been noise and smoke and explosions throughout me. Bombs have been losing from the sky. The station disappeared less than a cloud of acrid black smoke, the provision teach erupting in a fireball underneath the footbridge. humans have been working and screaming and looking guard anyplace they can. taking a look round, I observed a middle-age couple scurry into the open doorway of a close-by condo with a few others, and that i ran after them. Twelve folks crouched within the slim hallway of that condo, afraid to monitor, pulling down ourselves opposed to the partitions, our arms over our ears. My elbows pressed opposed to my knees, I curled myself into as small a ball as attainable, every one new explosion shaking the floor round us, and making me virtually bounce out of my epidermis. “It’s the railway they’re after! ” a tender guy through front door shouted again at us as we sat or stood silently, ready. After what appeared an eternity, yet used to be most likely just a couple of mins, his statement tailed off because the explosions got here much less usually and the drone of the planes subsided. With one ultimate almighty bang signifying the loss of life of the final diesel locomotive at the tracks, the Italian pilots, their bomb bays empty, headed east, their challenge complete. these people hiding within the hallway emerged unsteadily, peering into the smoke and dirt, afraid to think what we’d witnessed was once actual. Out within the open, wide-eyed and trembling, my first and basically idea was once for my mom. Numb to all techniques of the injured refugees, infantrymen, or perhaps Cecile, I knew that I needed to get domestic as fast as i may and inform Maman that i used to be secure.