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Safe Passage: The Remarkable True Story of Two Sisters Who Rescued Jews from the Nazis Paperback – November 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The detail, the humanity, the amazing rescue work that they did --- everything is recounted in a lovely writing style.
I truly recommend this book.
The story is gritty; the prose is lilting; and the pathos is heartrending. If this book doesn't bring tears of joy and sadness to your eyes then courage, and poignance, and tragedy, and beauty, and the dogged spirit of human determination and goodness don't exist in this world.
Approximately one-third of the book documents, in perfectly pitched prose, the role that the Cook sisters played in rescuing refugees, mostly Jews, from Europe prior to the outbreak of war in 1939. [In 1965 the two opera-loving Brits were awarded the honor of Righteous Among the Nations from the Yad Vashem for the lives they saved.] It seems almost an understatement to say, paraphrasing Albert Camus, that in the midst of winter these two sisters were an invincible summer.
If you wish to have a true picture of that time and place read this outstanding book.
I have admired her ever since I learned that she and her sister worked on behalf of Jewish refugees in the late 1930s. This is her memoir of that time, when they smuggled jewelry and furs out of Germany (so the people would have something to support themselves on once they escaped Germany) and found English sponsors to pledge to support the Jews so they would be allowed to leave for England. It was stressful and dangerous work.
Ida and her sister Louise were huge opera fans, and it was through their acquaintance with people in the opera world that their refugee work began. I give this book four instead of five stars mainly because there a lot of details about specific musical works and operatic stars. I've seen a few operas and liked them fine, but I'm not a huge fan so I found some of that a bit dull. But the parts where she describes specific refugees and their hurdles and what it was like to take shelter in London during German bombing raids is fantastic.
She is a fine writer.
"Characteristically, our last contact with Germany was strangely melodramatic. On August 24...news was received that the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact had been signed, and even the most naive could not pretend to themselves any longer that war was avoidable. It had been a curious and nerve-racking day. Just as we were going to bed, around midnight, the telephone rang.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am surprised by all of the glowing reviews. I was very disappointed by most of the book as it is basically about opera fandom. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Maggie Flantz
As an opera singing teacher, this book was brought to my attention. A real hero story, it is wonderful to have in your book collection. Quick service as well.Published on April 3, 2014 by David J.
A lovely book for anyone who likes opera. Two middle class British sisters begin a life long affair with the world of opera. Read morePublished on October 19, 2013 by Deborah I. Armstrong
I haven't read it yet but as I was born in 1945 and remember my parents sending care packages to Norway, I enjoy reading books that took place during WW 2, both fiction and non... Read morePublished on August 31, 2013 by Eileen Ronning
This book is a tremendous true story that is very inspiring. The two sisters Ida and Louise model the kind of life that is full of adventure, love of what is great and grand, and... Read morePublished on July 7, 2010 by Artistbp
Fascinating book, but more meaningful if you still remember the opera stars of yestertear.
The fact that these two women saved the lives of so many people would be of interest... Read more