The Real Hiding Place

The Real Hiding Place "Happiness isn't' something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie. It's something we make inside ourselves." - 'The Hiding Place'

Corrie Ten Boom was the youngest of four children. Her father, Casper Ten Boom, was a respected watch maker and repairman. Most would expect her to live in their shadows, being the youngest, right? Wrong. Her older sister, Elisabeth (whom they affectionately called Betsie) was diagnosed with pernicious anemia, making her very frail. They had two other siblings: Nollie, their sister, and Willem, who was a theologian. Both of them married, but Betsie and Corrie never married. Corrie, in honor of Betsie, took a vow of celibacy. In 1922, Corrie became the first licensed female watchmaker in the Netherlands.

But their day of honor was yet to come.

When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, they banned the girl's clubs that Corrie started several years before. In 1942, Corrie and her family became involved in the Dutch Underground, which helped Jews escape from the Nazi SS. At one point, the small Haarlem apartment, called the Beje (bay-yay) was home to eight people, four of which were Jews. But where did these Jews stay, you ask?

Simple. The Jews hid in a room that the ten Boom family had built in Corrie's bedroom for them by an architect belonging to the Dutch Resistance. The room was the size of a medium wardrobe, 30" deep, with an air vent on the outside wall.The Nazis never found this room because the only entrance was a small hatch which slid open to let the Jews in and out.

Several years passed. The Germans arrested the entire Ten Boom family on February 28, 1944 at around 12:30 with the help of an informant, by the name of Otto, who used to be Casper's apprentice. They were sent first to Scheveningen prison (where her father died ten days after his capture). Corrie's sister Nollie, brother Willem, and nephew Peter were all released. Later, Corrie and Betsie were sent to the Vught political concentration camp (both in the Netherlands), and finally to the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany in December 16, 1944, where Corrie's sister Betsie died. Before she died she told Corrie, "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." Corrie was released on Christmas Day of December 1944.

The odd thing? There were five Jews hiding with them. Five members in Corrie's family. Only one of the Jews died throughout the entire war, leaving the other four alive. However, the rest of Corrie's family (except for Corrie) died.

My point, you ask?

It should be kinda obvious.

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