Corrie ten Boom

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Corrie ten Boom
Born Cornelia ten Boom
15 April 1892
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died 15 April 1983(1983-04-15) (aged 91)
Placentia, California, United States
Occupation Writer, clocksmith
Religion Christianity

Cornelia "Corrie" ten Boom (15 April 1892 – 15 April 1983) was a Dutch watchmaker and Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. She was imprisoned for her actions. Her most famous book, The Hiding Place, describes the ordeal.

World War II[edit]

In May 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. Among their restrictions was banning a club which Ten Boom had run for young girls.[1][page needed] In May 1942 a well-dressed woman came to the Ten Booms' with a suitcase in hand and told them that she was a Jew, her husband had been arrested several months before, her son had gone into hiding, and Occupation authorities had recently visited her, so she was afraid to go back. She had heard that the Ten Booms had helped their Jewish neighbors, the Weils, and asked if they might help her too. Casper ten Boom readily agreed that she could stay with them. A devoted reader of the Old Testament, he believed that the Jews were the 'chosen people', and he told the woman, "In this household, God's people are always welcome."[2] The family then became very active in the Dutch underground hiding refugees; they honored the Jewish Sabbath.[3]

Thus the Ten Booms began "the hiding place", or "de schuilplaats", as it was known in Dutch (also known as "de Béjé", pronounced in Dutch as 'bayay', an abbreviation of their street address, the Barteljorisstraat). Corrie and Betsie opened their home to refugees — both Jews and others who were members of the resistance movement — being sought by the Gestapo and its Dutch counterpart. They had plenty of room, although wartime shortages meant that food was scarce. Every non-Jewish Dutch person had received a ration card, the requirement for obtaining weekly food coupons. Through her charitable work, Ten Boom knew many people in Haarlem and remembered a couple who had a disabled daughter. The father was a civil servant who by then was in charge of the local ration-card office. She went to his house one evening, and when he asked how many ration cards she needed, "I opened my mouth to say, 'Five,'" Ten Boom wrote in The Hiding Place. "But the number that unexpectedly and astonishingly came out instead was: 'One hundred.'"[4] He gave them to her and she provided cards to every Jew she met.

Arrest, detention, and release[edit]

On February 28, 1944, a Dutch informant named Jan Vogel told the Nazis about the ten Booms' work; at around 12:30 the Nazis arrested the entire ten Boom family. They were sent to Scheveningen prison; Nollie and Willem were released immediately along with Corrie's nephew Peter; Casper died 10 days later. The six people hidden by the ten Booms, among them both Jews and resistance workers, remained undiscovered. Several days after the raid resistance workers transferred them to other locations. Altogether, the Gestapo arrested some 30 people in the ten Boom family home that day. [5]

Corrie and Betsie were sent from Scheveningen to Herzogenbusch political concentration camp (also known as Kamp Vught), and finally to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, a women's labor camp in Germany. There they held worship services, after the hard days at work, using a Bible that they had managed to sneak in. After her health continued to recede, Betsie died on December 16, 1944 with a smile on her lips. Before she died, she told Corrie, "There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still."[6]

Life after the war[edit]

After the war, ten Boom returned to The Netherlands to set up a rehabilitation center. The refugee houses consisted of concentration-camp survivors and sheltered the jobless Dutch who previously collaborated with Germans during the Occupation. She returned to Germany in 1946, and traveled the world as a public speaker, appearing in more than 60 countries. She wrote many books during this time.[7]

ten Boom told the story of her family members and their World War II work in her best-selling book, The Hiding Place (1971), which was made into a World Wide Pictures film in 1975, starring Jeannette Clift as Corrie and Julie Harris as Betsie. In 1977, 85-year-old Corrie emigrated to Placentia, California. In 1978, she suffered two strokes, the first rendering her unable to speak, and the second resulting in paralysis. She died on her 91st birthday, 15 April 1983, after a third stroke.

A sequel film, Return to the Hiding Place (War of Resistance), was released in 2011, based on Hans Poley's book painting a wider image of the circle she was part of.

Honors[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Backhouse, Halcyon C. (1992), Corrie ten Boom: Faith Triumphs, Heroes of The Faith, Alton: Hunt & Thorpe, ISBN 1-85608-007-2. 
  • Baez, Kjersti Hoff; Bohl, Al (2008) [1989], Corrie ten Boom, Chronicles of Faith, Ulrichsville, Ohio: Barbour Pub, ISBN 1-59789-967-4. 
  • Benge, Janet; Benge, Geoffrey ‘Geoff’ (1999), Corrie ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels' Den, Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub, ISBN 1-57658-136-5. 
  • Briscoe, Jill (1991), Paint the Prisons Bright: Corrie ten Boom, Dallas: Word Pub, ISBN 0-8499-3308-0. 
  • Brown, Joan Winmill (1979), Corrie, the Lives She's Touched, Old Tappan, N.J: F.H. Revell Co, ISBN 0-8007-1049-5. 
  • Carlson, Carole C. (1983), Corrie ten Boom, Her Life, Her Faith: A Biography, Old Tappan, N.J: F.H. Revell Co, ISBN 0-8007-1293-5. 
  • Couchman, Judith (1997), Corrie ten Boom: Anywhere He Leads Me. 
  • Mainse, David (1976), The Corrie ten Boom Story: Turning Point. 
  • McKenzie, Catherine (2006), Corrie ten Boom: Are All The Watches Safe. 
  • Meloche, Renée; Pollard, Bryan (2002), Corrie ten Boom: Shining In The Darkness. 
  • Moore 1986, Pamela Rosewell, The Five Silent Years of Corrie ten Boom. 
  • Moore, Pamela Rosewell (2004), Life Lessons From The Hiding Place: Discovering The Heart of Corrie ten Boom. 
  • Poley, Hans (1993), Return to The Hiding Place. 
  • Ray, Chaplain (1985), Corrie ten Boom Speaks To Prisoners. 
  • Shaw, Sue (1996), Corrie ten Boom: Faith In Dark Places. 
  • Smith, Emily S, A Visit To The Hiding Place: The Life Changing Experiences of Corrie ten Boom. 
  • Stamps, Ellen de Kroon (1978), My Years with Corrie, Old Tappan, N.J: F.H. Revell Co. 
  • Wallington, David (1981), The Secret Room: The Story of Corrie ten Boom, Exeter: Religious Education Press. 
  • Watson, Jean (1994), Corrie ten Boom: The Watchmaker's Daughter. 
  • Wellman, Samuel ‘Sam’ (1984), Corrie ten Boom: The Heroine of Haarlem. 
  • Wellman, Samuel ‘Sam’ (2004), Corrie ten Boom: Heroes of The Faith. 
  • White, Kathleen (1991), Corrie ten Boom. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boom, Corrie ten. The Hiding Place. Peabody Massachusetts Hendrickson Publishers, 2009
  2. ^ Boom, Corrie ten. The Hiding Place. Peabody Massachusetts Hendrickson Publishers, 2009, p. 88
  3. ^ "H2G2", DNA, The British Broadcasting Company .
  4. ^ Boom, Corrie ten. The Hiding Place. Peabody Massachusetts Hendrickson Publishers, 2009, p. 92
  5. ^ Holocaust Memorial - Corrie ten Boom, The Holocaust Memorial 
  6. ^ Boom, Corrie ten. The Hiding Place. Peabody Massachusetts Hendrickson Publishers, 2009, p 240
  7. ^ Lessard, William O. The Complete Book of Bananas. Place of Publication Not Identified: W.O. Lessard, 1992. Print.

External links[edit]