An incredible woman
Starting in October 1943, Marianne Cohen smuggled groups of youngsters
to Switzerland until she was arrested in May 1944, with a group of 28 children.
The Jewish members of the underground planned to rescue her but she refused,
lest her escape result in tragic consequences for the children.
In 1943, Marianne Cohn, an accountant born in Berlin, was sent by the Zionist movement MJS (Mouvement de la Jeunesse Sioniste) to replace
Mila Racine after the latter’s arrest. Cohn was already
active in producing forged passports for the underground
MJS, nicknamed “physical education.”
She smuggled many groups of youngsters to Switzerland until she, too,
was arrested on May 31, 1944, together with a group of twenty-eight
children ranging in age from four to fifteen. All of them were sent to Annemasse.
The Jewish members of the underground prepared
a plan to rescue her but she refused, lest her escape
result in tragic consequences for the children.
The members of the underground sent a message to the Gestapo,
threatening to kill them if the detainees were harmed.
Though the children were rescued, Marianne Cohn
was kidnapped by members of the special services
from Lyon on July 3, 1944, severely tortured and
murdered in Ville la Grand, near Annemasse.