11 2020

An Evening with Marthe Cohn: A French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany

6:00PM - 8:00PM  

52 Ltd 135 NE 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97232


Contact Kendra Roberts

Portland welcomes Marthe Cohn, a 99-year-old decorated WWII hero of the French 1st Army. Hosted by 52 Ltd., with support from the YWCA of Greater Portland and the Jewish Federation, the evening will consist of Marthe Cohn sharing her first-person account of her experiences as an unlikely spy, as well as her humanitarian insights, and audience Q & A. She will also sign copies of her autobiography, Behind Enemy Lines: the True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany, the unbelievable account of a humble young woman trying to make sense of baseless cruelty, and who challenges herself to do the incredible. Marthe’s books are currently available from Broadway Books and a limited number of copies will be for sale at the event.

This free event is being held on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 from 6pm-8pm at 52 Ltd. (135 NE 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97232). Since seats are limited, registration is required and will open in early January 2020 through 52 Ltd.

Co-presenters Kendra Roberts and Lisa Occhipinti believe that during these critical political times, Marthe’s journey is a powerful example of determination, courage, hope, and resistance that is incredibly important for our community to hear and experience.

Marthe Cohn was born Marthe Hoffnung on 13 April 1920 into an Orthodox Jewish family and raised in Metz, France near the German border. By the time she was in her late teens, Hitler rose to power, and Cohn’s sister was sent to Auschwitz. In November 1944, after the liberation of Paris, Marthe became a member of the Intelligence Service of the French 1st Army, assuming the identity of a German nurse named Martha Ulrich, claiming she was searching for her missing fiancé. The intelligence she gathered and reported led to positive military outcomes for the French 1st Army. Today as a highly decorated war hero, Marthe travels the world with her husband, Major L. Cohn, sharing their experiences. She speaks at organizations, universities, synagogues and is currently touring Europe with the release of the documentary film about her life “Chinchinette” (2019).

Artists, friends and relative Portland newcomers, Kendra Roberts and Lisa Occhipinti teamed up in early 2019 with the idea of bringing this remarkable woman, Marthe Cohn, to their new community. Common interests and a concern for present cultural, political and social currents fueled this passion project; they are deeply grateful to their sponsors and partners for their generous contributions.

This event was made possible by the generous support of 52 Ltd., the YWCA of Greater Portland, the Jewish Federation, Broadway Books, Portland Downtown Rotary, Monmouth-Independence Rotary, Lake Oswego Rotary, Forest Grove Noon Rotary, Oregon City Rotary, West Linn Rotary, Newberg Noon Rotary, Pickett Design Associates, Ramer Architecture, Noel Jackson, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, the Jubitz Family Foundation, Liz Rogers, and the Hotel Monaco Portland.

Sponsor: Please see Summary for information about our Sponsors.