The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

 

NonfictionThe Hiding Place by Corrie ten BoomChristian nonfiction

The Hiding PlaceCorrie Ten Boom; Chosen Books 2006WorldCatwritten with John and Elizabeth Sherrill

Corrie ten Boom lived with her eighty+ year old father and her older sister Betsie when the Netherlands fell to Hitler and the Nazis. Days after the truce was signed between the two countries, the Nazis ignored it and entered the Netherlands. The ten Booms were watchmakers in Haarlem. They had a strong faith in their savior Jesus Christ.

Corrie and Betsie’s older brother Willem had been warning of the problems coming. He was already helping the Jews who had escaped from Germany, part of the underground. Now Corrie and her family start seeing their own neighbors being persecuted.  Their faith gave them the strength to start helping. When Corrie took her first Jewish refugees to her brother outside of town, Willem advised her to start making contacts within Haarlem itself. She realized he was right.

Soon the ten Booms were helping Jews escape. They made connections throughout all levels of politics and society to help feed them, take them in, and hide them. The ten Booms themselves built a secret room to hide refugees.

Eventually the family is betrayed. In February, 1944, Betsie and Corrie, who were both in their 50’s,  and Mr. ten Boom were arrested and taken to a Nazi jail in the Netherlands. Mr. ten Boom died soon thereafter. But Betsie and Corrie survive and eventually are sent to concentration camp in Germany, Ravensbruck. Only their faith sustained them through their trials.

The Hiding Place is a strong biography of a remarkable family. Only Corrie survived to be released from Ravensbruck before the end of the war. She was back in Haarlem when the war finally ended. Then she took the ministry she had had in Haarlem and the concentration camps to the world. Corrie became involved in ministry to help revive Europe and eventually took her faith and her story around the world.

There were many unexplained “coincidences” that Corrie can only attribute to Betsie’s faith. Because of them, they were able to minister to the women they encounter in the prisons and concentration camps. The Hiding Place is a powerful book and enchanting at the same time.

Corrie wrote this autobiography with the help of John and Elizabeth Sherrill. It is in her voice of faith, insecurities and triumphs. She begins with the family’s history, including her mother’s death, her one love affair, and the family watch business. The Hiding Place was first published in 1970 while Corrie ten Boom was still alive.

This is a book that exemplifies Christian faith in action in the worst circumstances. Any Christian will appreciate this autobiography. Non-Christians may find out more about the Christian faith. Everyone will learn about a remarkable family in horrendous situations.

Notice: Non-graphic violence

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