Who Were the Women in Intuitive Experiment #33?

The people in this experiment are Ida and Louise Cook, two opera-loving British sisters who were instrumental in the aid and rescue of numerous Jews between 1934 and 1939. Their exploits flew under the radar for many years, but were truly remarkable in their clever and daring execution.

Early Life

Born in the first years of the 1900s, Ida and Louise never married or had children – a common situation for many women at the time, since many eligible men had died as a result of World War I. They lived peacefully in a modest home in South London for most of their lives, making a meagre living as shorthand typists.

Over the years, however, the Cook sisters developed a passionate interest in the opera, and eventually became quite ardent followers of the music scene – traveling to performances and seeking out autographs like modern-day rock groupies.

During a festival in Salzburg in 1934, the sisters were introduced to famed conductor Clemens Krauss, whose wife made them aware of the harsh conditions that Jews were facing in Germany and Austria during the period before World War II.

Jews were already experiencing persecution in those countries, and although they were still allowed to leave at the time, they faced an almost insurmountable Catch 22 – they were not allowed to bring any money or belongings with them from their homelands, but would also not be accepted into Great Britain unless they could demonstrate that they had work or adequate funding available to them upon arrival. Ida and Louise were moved by this desperate situation, and decided to do something to help.

World War II Rescue Efforts

In order to assist the stranded and persecuted Jews, the sisters concocted a brilliant but dangerous plan – they would continue to travel to various places in the guise of opera junkies, dressing in plain and unassuming clothing when they crossed the border from Great Britain into Germany or Austria.

When they returned, however, they were laden with furs and jewelry belonging to the refugees they were assisting, but which they claimed were their own. As a cover story for carrying so many valuables with them, they told customs officers that they were two nervous spinsters, who simply didn’t trust their relatives enough to leave their jewelry unprotected at home. This explanation, while somewhat odd, could not be directly contradicted.

Ida and Louise always crossed at different points of entry when coming and going, so that officials wouldn’t notice that they carried hardly anything when entering the country, but came back “loaded to the Plimsoll Line” with expensive goods.

Because the clothing the sisters themselves wore was very plain and ordinary, officers often assumed that the jewels they were decked in were simply fake, further reducing suspicion. But they might still have been questioned and apprehended at any point – risking arrest, internment in concentration camps, or worse.

In an effort to help fund these rescue missions, Ida Cook began to author light romances, which were produced by the publishing house Mills and Boon. Over the next 50 years she wrote roughly 130 novels under the pen name Mary Burchell, which was a major help in defraying the cost of travel to various opera houses. For his part, their friend Clemens Krauss assisted by arranging performances in the cities and on the dates the sisters required, to provide the necessary cover for their smuggling activities.

Historians are still not sure that these efforts explain how Ida and Louise were able to afford as much air travel as they undertook, however, and some wonder whether they might have been secretly working for the British government in espionage as well. Efforts to unseal secret documents held by the CIA are currently underway, which might eventually shed more light on the matter.

Later Life and Legacy

Ida and Louise are credited with saving dozens of Jews between 1937 and the onset of World War II. They were notoriously humble about the many unfortunate people they assisted at great risk to their own lives, and Ida only glossed over the affair very briefly in her memoirs. In the ensuing years, they would only discuss their exploits if directly asked about them.

Even so, in 1955 the sisters were recognized by the state of Israel with the Righteous Among the Nations designation, and in 2017 the Sunderland Council memorialized them with a plaque outside their childhood home on Croft Avenue. A movie chronicling their exploits is currently in the works as well.

Ida died in 1986, and Louise in 1990. Their legacy lives on in the form of generations of Jews whose lives and bloodlines would have been cut dramatically short, were it not for the cleverness and bravery of these unassuming women. For that reason, their clandestine “opera operation” will live on forever.

Intuitive Hits

Several people picked up on the fact that these two were sisters, and had a connection to World War II and to Germany and the Nazis. Bravo to you! Charlie and Doris noted correctly that Ida and Louise were involved with the opera scene, and traveled widely in order to help people.

Sallyg, Lacey, and Tui Snider also sensed the sisters’ warm, loving vibes, and the fact that they assisted Jews in escaping the Holocaust during the war, so well done to you as well. And as Samantha Lin noted, they were definitely highly moral people who stood up for what they believed in.

There were some really awesome and specific hits in this exercise! Great work from all of you!

Now, if some readers were fooled by the plain and unassuming appearance of these two women, don’t feel too bad – that’s exactly what they had in mind, and it’s that very factor that made their plan so successful! They even sought to exaggerate their ordinariness, in the interests of flying under the radar as they traveled. In truth, they were masters of deceit and disguise.

This only goes to show, however, that you really can’t judge a book by its cover, and it always pays to challenge our assumptions about looks, dress, and so forth when reading people intuitively. They might not be who they appear to be! So dig a bit deeper, and see if your innate sense of the person matches up with who they are on the outside – and if it doesn’t, trust that information and see where it may lead. As in the case of these two “nervous spinsters,” you might be very surprised!

Overall there were too many hits to mention everyone individually, but I saw a lot of excellent work on this experiment!

Here are my questions for you, dear reader:

  • How did you do?
  • How do you pick up on info during these experiments
  • Do you know your strongest clair? (visit this page to find out more about that!)

Want To Do Another Intuitive Experiment?

Try experiment #32!

And finally, the more experienced you are in reading photos, the easier it becomes to get past facades and get to the heart of who someone really is. However, practice is not the only factor in reading people successfully – having a good technique helps, too! If you would like to learn the method I personally use for reading people, check out my Intuitive Awakening Course which has been taken by 1500+ intuitive developers.

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Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >

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11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    When I first looked at the picture, I saw blood,death an destruction but did not understand why. Now it makes perfect sense thankyou Anna.

  2. Avatar

    Which one is Ida and which one is Louise?

  3. Anna Sayce

    Ida is the lady on the left, Louise on the right.

  4. Avatar

    I was definitely feeling the right vibes. I knew they were associated with the Jews during WW2, but I felt that they had been prisoners in a concentration camp.
    Not bad.

    Thanks for the experiment.
    Looking forward to the next one.

    Raven

  5. Avatar

    Thank you Anna. I immediately felt they helped the Jews and that the woman to the left was a writer. While I am not at all surprised to find this was true, I haven’t quite learned to trust what I intuit…Regards.

  6. Avatar

    That was a fun experiment:) I never tried reading from a picture before. I hope you do another experiment soon. I tried to look up more information about Louise specifically, her personal life. I kept getting that she somehow took care of Ida but I can’t find information to address that either way. I didn’t pick up on the music at all, or on the rescue missions. But I did get some other points correctly:) Fun!

  7. Avatar

    I did not comment here because I did not have time to translate it into English. Next time may I leave a comment in French? Here is the summary what I wrote in my diary:
    They are two close sisters. They are happy when they call each other and send letters when they are separated.
    English, they are modern and adapt to their time.
    The right sister likes to think, read and write and have interesting conversations. She is ambitious and motivated. She likes being invited to the city like New York. She taps on the typist. Secretary? Writer? She’s in charge of a magazine? Write and do what to do after receiving instructions. His boss is happy with his job and he trusts him. She loves modern, dynamic music and she is in her day (hair and clothes).
    She is dedicated to the family and makes sacrifices.

  8. Avatar

    I am excited because I got the word “cook” thinking they may have worked in a kitchen. But it was their last name. I was going to add it to my comments and forgot. Very exciting for me!

  9. Avatar

    I am fairly new to this so I am excited I got “cook” too!!! 🙂 I thought they may work in the kitchen, however HA! Then I picked up on sister, (or mother/relative) Yay!
    A good start for me.
    They sound inspiring.

  10. Avatar

    Somehow when I see the picture, my mind saw a image of two old women sitting down, both were definitely sisters who grew to ripe old age together, surrounded by people and strangers who knew them and were grateful for their existence and help. So I inferred that they may have helped quite a number of people in their lives and touched even more in their lives. They were sort of famous. The image and emotion conveyed were so strong.
    I know I can pick up emotions and thoughts of the owner when I picked up or held the objects in my hands but I don’t know where to go from here or what use can that be. So this experiment is interesting to me as I’m learning more of other claires.

  11. Avatar

    Wow thank you!
    I’ve been told for years I’m just intuitive, and good at reading people’s looks and body language. My family have no faith in spiritual matters at all. I’ve always known I was different, that it was something more. How can I have gotten travel and opera from that photo!
    My confidence has grown and I intend to carry on learning and honing my gift.
    Thank you so much!

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