ON THIS DAY, February 28, 1944, Corrie ten Boom lay sick in her bed, wishing she could get up and help with the many chores that came from managing an illegal, underground shelter for Jewish people hiding from potential Nazi captors in her native Holland.
Corrie was aroused from her fever induced sleepiness by the sounds of quickly moving feet on the stairs coming to her room. She was startled to find the people they had been hiding rushing as quietly as they could into the “hiding place” they had made in the wall of her room. As soon as the secret door was closed, she was shocked to find Nazi soldiers storming in and demanding of her, “Where are your Jews?”
She soon realized this was not one of the practice drills they had conducted so many times. These were real Gestapo and the lives of her friends and family were now very much in danger. The soldiers demanded that she get up from her bed, herding Corrie, her sister Betsie, and their 84 year old father downstairs for interrogation. None of them could be convinced to reveal the location of the Jews hiding in their home, despite being assaulted until their swollen faces were streaked with both blood and tears.
The Nazis punched holes in the walls of their family home looking for the Jewish hiding place, but couldn’t find it. Corrie, Betsie, and father Casper ten Boom were all handcuffed and taken to the police station. Eventually, those hiding in her room were able to escape to safety.
The confusion of the police station that night was the last time Corrie would see her beloved father. He was separated from his daughters and she later learned that he only survived his arrest by only ten days. She was eventually reunited with her sister and they were able to minister together to others held in the German concentration camps. After ten months in the camps, Betsie died from the effects of maltreatment. Only three days after Betsie’s death, Corrie was released from the concentration camp through a clerical error. She later learned that all women her age were exterminated just a matter of days after her release.
Still wanting to use her resources for the good of others, Corrie started a home for those who needed a safe place to recover from the effects of the horrors of World War II. She later traveled the world sharing the message that “no pit is so deep that God’s love is not deeper.” The story of her family is told in the best-selling book, “The Hiding Place.
When I first read “The Hiding Place” as an 8th grader I was impacted with the question, “What would I do if people in my city were being maligned, mistreated, or even murdered for their faith, their family heritage, or their ethnicity?” Her story so moved me that when I had a daughter I chose to name her “Corrie” so that my baby girl would have a connection to this courageous woman’s example to do whatever it takes to provide a safe “hiding place” for those who need it – spiritually, emotionally, morally, or physically.
You can watch the movie “The Hiding Place” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX0GwjXExFE
You can also buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Hiding-Place-Corrie-Te…/…/ref=sr_1_3…