Former spy to detail experiences behind enemy lines

Former spy to detail experiences behind enemy lines

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Marthe Cohn MUG

Much of Marthe Cohn’s life sounds like a script for a really exciting action movie.

She was a spy for the French government during World War II, risking her life to cross into German territory to report on troop movements and battle plans. Later, she received the highest military honor from both the French and German governments.

Cohn, 97, will tell her story during a special presentation at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28, at Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St. The event is sponsored by Alevy Chabad Jewish Center de Las Cruces.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door, $36 for advance seating and $360 for sponsorships.

Cohn will sign copies of her book, “Behind Enemy Lines,” during the program.

Cohn said her message to the audience is, “You have to know the past to prepare for the future. If you don’t know the past you cannot do anything for the future.”

Cohn sees “a lot of similarity” between what happened in Europe before and during WWII with what is happening in the world today “because there is so much nationalism going on and that’s always unhealthy.”

There are two dates that stand out in Cohn’s mind from WWII: Sept. 26, 1942, when her sister was deported by the German government to an unknown destination, and Oct. 6, 1943, when her fiancée and his brother were executed by the German army.

“These are two the most vivid souvenirs of the war.”

On July 14 (Bastille Day in France), 2000, Cohn was awarded France’s highest military honor, the Médaille Militaire.

“I was extremely happy about it,” Cohn said, “because it was the only proof of what I had done.”

As a spy, she said, her activities “were so secret that you are in the army (and) you have no documents.”

Surprisingly enough, the German government in 2004 gave Cohn the highest medal in Germany – the Order of Merit.

She was given the award, Cohn said, “because I helped them create democracy in Germany.”

The German government also told her that the information she provided as a spy helped to shorten the war and “saved an untold number of people.”

Cohn said she will bring her medals with her to the Las Cruces presentation.

Cohn said she doesn’t give advice to adults, but when she speaks to school children, Cohn she always tells them to be engaged and don’t accept anything “that your conscience does not agree with.”

The Rio Grande Theatre presentation will be Cohn’s first trip to Las Cruces. She has visited Santa Fe twice during her international travels.

For reservations, call 575-524-1330 or visit www.jewishlc.com.

Purchase tickets at chabadlcorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3716806/lang/en.

 

Mike Cook may be reached at mike@lascrucesbulletin.com.

 

The Rio Grande Theatre presentation will be Cohn’s first trip to Las Cruces. She has visited Santa Fe twice during her international travels.

For reservations, call 575-524-1330 or visit www.jewishlc.com.

Purchase tickets at chabadlcorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3716806/lang/en.

Mike Cook may be reached at mike@lascrucesbulletin.com.

 

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