Book Review: Behind Enemy Lines by Marthe Cohn

Marthe Cohn was a nineteen year old Jew living in France in 1939.  Due to the threat of the Germans invading, the entire towns’ people of Metz, where Cohn had lived all of her life, were urged to move to Pointers, 400 miles away.  Reluctantly, her family agreed to do so, but they decided to consider it a holiday since their relocation would be brief. . .or so they thought.

They couldn’t have  been more wrong.

In the six years from the time Cohn’s family is relocated to a different area in France until the end of the war, she lives a lifetime.  While at first her family lives in their new town, Pointers, much the same as they lived in their old hometown, it’s not long before the Germans invade and take over.  Then, little by little, the noose tightens, as Cohn says.

Despite the German occupation, Cohn is able to achieve much in her young life.  When she and her family lose their business because it’s Jewish owned, she gets a new job as a German interpreter at the town hall.  Because she has a German name, is fluent in German and French and has blond hair and blue eyes, she is easily mistaken for a German.  This is to her benefit when, late in the war, she becomes a spy for the French and enters Germany.

After she leaves her post at the town hall as an interpreter, Cohn studies to be a nurse, falls in love, and becomes engaged.

However, as the war efforts build, Cohn’s happy life begins to unravel.  I won’t say more in this review for fear of giving away too much, but I will say that this book is tension filled and kept me reading compulsively for hours.

I can’t imagine the bravery it took to enter the Devil’s Lair, so to speak, when she, a young Jewish girl, enters into Germany as a German.

If you’re looking for an interesting book that teaches you about history and keeps you on the edge of your seat, this is the book for you!

5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

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