I love finding little hidden jewels in our nonfiction collection! One of these marvelous jewels is a book entitled Safe Passage: the remarkable true story of two sisters who rescued Jews from the Nazis. This is a reprint of a 1950 memoir entitled “We Followed Our Stars” and it is the story of Ida Cook and her sister Louise as they recount the efforts they made to save Jews from Nazi concentration camps. Passionate Opera fans, they became involved with the suffering of Jewish friends in Europe on frequent forays from their home in London to the continent to listen to Opera performances. During the course of the war, they made many trips, using forged documents, to save Jews – and listen to Opera! They often smuggled jewels out of Europe to fund the release of Jews, and even purchased a flat in London to house recently saved Jews.
One of the really unique aspects of this book is the charming, optimistic, no-big-deal attitude of the sisters, who felt that the opportunity life gave them to travel to Europe and savor the Opera was as much a blessing to them, as was their unwavering efforts to save as many Jews from the concentration camps as they possibly could. In 1965 they were honored as Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority in Israel. This book is a delightful read!