Two opera-loving sisters who saved Jews from Hitler

Two opera-loving sisters who saved Jews from Hitler


norman lebrecht

January 29, 2017

BBC Tyne & Wear tells the lovely story of two opera fanatics, Ida and Luise Cook, who used their 1930s visits to opera houses in Austria and Germany to help oppressed people save their possessions and their lives.

‘The funny thing is we weren’t the James Bond type – we were just respectable Civil Service typists,’ said Ida.

‘This friend opened our eyes into the appalling situation Jewish people in Germany found themselves in. They were without any rights as human beings at all.’



As a permanent reminder of the sisters’ heroism, on Friday Sunderland Council unveiled a blue plaque at the entrance of Croft Avenue, which was their childhood home.

Read the full, heroic story here.



  • Malcolm Kottler says:

    Ida Cook wrote an autobiography entitled We Followed Our Stars (originally published in 1950). It tells the story of what the sisters did to rescue Jews in Nazi Germany.

    The book has been reprinted with the new title–Safe Passage: The Remarkable True Story of Two Sisters Who Rescued Jews from the Nazis–and can be purchased new as a paperback.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Beautiful story…. nowadays, they would have helped Syrian refugees, and Americans fleeing Trumpistan.

    • Jerome Hoberman says:

      Please, though the sentiment is honorable, this is nothing to make jokes about. There is no comparison between Syrians fleeing terror and Americans disgusted by a puerile presidency.