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96-year-old Holocaust survivor shares story

Posted at 10:25 PM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 00:25:08-05

Marthe Cohn's life changed with a decision she made during WWII. 

"They chose my name and everything, I never chose anything like that," she said. "But I made up my alibi. (Do you still remember your alibi?) Oh yeah. How can I forget?"

At the time and in reality, she was a young Jewish adult from France, who spoke fluent German. However, the alibi she used during her assignments as a spy says differently.

"I was an only child, because the less baggage you had, the better it was," Cohn said. "My parents were both killed in the bombardment of the Allies, that's why I hated the Allies."

She became a spy for the Allied Forces, working behind enemy lines. Her job was to interrogate Nazi officers and officials, bringing the information back to her forces. A risky job, one wrong move could cost her life.

"I got in trouble -- very bad trouble -- several times," she said. "But I always found the right thing to say at the right time."

Wartime wasn't easy for Cohn. She was very close with her younger sister, who ended up going to Auschwitz; her fiancee was executed. It was after these traumatic experiences that she began her unimaginable journey, one to fight the Nazi cause.

"I cannot tell you what pushed me to do it," she said. "I don't know. I felt like I had to do it."

Now in 2016, she hopes by sharing her story, she'll be able to instill this message in her audiences:

"You cannot just sit back and let other people do the work," Cohn said. "Everybody has to be engaged."