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The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
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The Hiding Place (original 1971; edition 1974)

by Corrie Ten Boom, Elizabeth Sherrill, John Sherrill

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4,221741,180 (4.4)121
Member:casanders2015
Title:The Hiding Place
Authors:Corrie Ten Boom
Other authors:Elizabeth Sherrill, John Sherrill
Info:Spire Books (1974), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:None

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The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (1971)

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Corrie ten Boom was the youngest child in a family of Haarlem watchmakers. Corrie's brother became a pastor and one of her older sisters married a school teacher. Neither Corrie nor her oldest sister, Betsie, married, and Corrie went into the family business while Betsie took care of the housekeeping after their mother's death. For as long as Corrie could remember, their house had been home to more than just their immediate family. Several of her mother's sisters lived with the family until their deaths, and her father took in several foster children after his own children were grown. It was natural for the Ten Booms to offer hospitality and a place of refuge to Jews and to others who were sought by the Nazis during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Their home became the nucleus of an underground network that funneled Jews to safety. When the network inevitably became known to the Germans, several family members were arrested, and Corrie and her sister, Betsie, eventually ended up in the concentration camp at Ravensbruck. Their strong Christian faith enabled them to endure much suffering during their imprisonment.

This was a re-read for me. Corrie has been one of my heroes since I first read this book as a young adult. What impressed me on the first reading was Corrie's encounter with one of her former guards at Ravensbruck who had come to hear her speak at a church in Germany. He sought her out after the meeting and asked for her forgiveness. This time through, I saw Betsie's influence in this encounter. In the concentration camp, Corrie was moved by the suffering of their fellow prisoners and dedicated herself to ministering to them. Betsie was moved by the spiritual poverty of the guards and other officials, and she dreamed of ministering to them after the war. It would seem that Betsie's dream motivated Corrie to speak of God's forgiveness in German churches in the years following the war.

I've learned much more about the war and the Holocaust in the years since I first read this book. There is no question that European Jews were persecuted for their faith, and I'm thankful for every Holocaust memoir that preserves the stories of individuals who suffered in the concentration camps and who witnessed the mass exterminations of Jews. Corrie ten Boom's account is a reminder that it wasn't only Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis. It seems that Christianity wasn't welcome in the camps either. The Ten Booms were arrested when they had gathered for a Bible study in their home. Corrie and Betsie smuggled Bibles into the prison and later into the concentration camp. They held Bible studies and prayer meetings with other prisoners in secret.

This time through I was struck by how well-written this book is. The authors take an episodic approach to Corrie's life, and each chapter tells a story. The audio production is outstanding, and the narrator tells Corrie's story as if she had lived it herself. This is a classic of Christian literature that probably hasn't been out of print since its publication. It will also appeal to readers interested in accounts of occupied territories and resistance movements in World War II. ( )
3 vote cbl_tn | Aug 31, 2014 |
Corrie Ten Boom tells of her family's experiences during the German occupation of Holland during WWII. Captured as the organizer of an underground ring that supplied ration cards and rescued Jews, she was imprisoned, and then sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp with one of her sisters. ( )
  pmlyayakkers | Jul 12, 2014 |
"The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom is a modern classic of history, inspiration, and Christianity in action. Growing up in a Christian family in Holland Corrie ten Boom has many fascinating stories of romance and service as her sisters and brother get married, as her aunts and mother die, and she herself loses her true love and decides to grow into God's greater love. Corrie becomes the Netherland's first female watch repairer to help her father. She and her sister Betse and Nollie, and brother Willems all are involved in helping Jews as they flee from Nazi Germany into Holland during the 30s. Then the war comes and Holland is conquered. They now help the Jews hide in their own home. They become part of the Dutch underground resistance and their home becomes the center of Jewish hiding places. In 1944, they are caught and imprisoned, transferred from one prison to another and then Corrie and Betse go to Ravensbruck, the German concentration camp. There is much more and it is all inspirational. Corrie does not spare herself, but shows her fears and weaknesses through all the trials she faces. Read this book and be changed. ( )
  jjvors | Jun 28, 2014 |
This book is definitely directed to Christians, but there is no reason why others should not read it. It is very informative and it is written in a clear-cut, simple way; in a straight forward manner, it describes the horrors of World War II, and it documents the terror that Corrie Ten Boom actually experienced. Although some of the information presented may seem exaggerated to some, I feel comfortable writing that the book seems based on facts. This is a story about courage in the face of despicable evil, a story about a family in Holland that was willing to put the needs of others above their own. This is a story about the Underground, a story about the Ten Booms who rescued Jews and hid them in their own home, selflessly.
Through the trauma and pain, they never doubted their purpose or their actions; they believed that what they were doing was right, and perhaps, it was G-d’s will. No matter what your belief in G-d is, you will find this story inspiring because it is about true kindness, true compassion, true sacrifice. Two of the sisters experienced Concentration Camp life together and that helped each in its own way; Betsie benefitted from Corrie’s love and care when she was ill; She ministered to others and always saw the silver lining, even in the worst of circumstances. She helped Corrie out of her bouts of anger and despair. Betsie, in the spirit of her religion, forgave the sinners and pitied them for their malevolence, prayed for them and hoped to help them too. She forgave their wickedness. If she was truly able to help others to survive the most awful conditions, let’s agree to accept that her gift came from somewhere.
This stirring story comes out of the blackest period of history. The ability to forgive those who have wronged you is surely not an easy thing to do, and yet, that is what Corrie does when she is finally free. She fulfills Betsie’s dream. She finds a beautiful home, like her sister imagined, where the rescued could be rehabilitated and introduced into society again.
Before the war, at home, in Haarlem, Corrie’s father took in homeless children and her sister Betsie, like her mother before her death, fed the hungry. The Second World War in Europe screamed from the radio, but the changes taking place hardly interrupted their lives until the night of the Prime Minister’s speech, the night that he promised the people there would be no war, and yet, it turned out to be the very night that the bombs began to fall. Holland was being attacked despite the promises that their neutrality would be respected. Very soon, the Queen left and they were occupied by the Germans. Life slowly began to change. The Ten Booms rose to the challenge they faced.
As a Jew, I truly appreciated the effort of these righteous Christians and the honesty with which their story is portrayed. Although it doesn’t mention much about the horrors the Jews were subjected to, it shines a light on the horrors that were visited upon the political prisoners who tried to help them, and their plight was, if not as bad and desperate, surely a close second after what I read. So many suffered the same terror, the same fear of arrest, the same humiliation and torture, the same starvation and deprivation as the Jews, though their numbers did not mount into the millions. Perhaps it was their belief in the power of miracles and their belief in Jesus that sustained them, whatever it was, it clearly worked. Many people who survived the war tell of miraculous occurrences that just seemed to occur, crediting these with saving their lives. There were many unsung heroes who risked their lives, ultimately sacrificing them, so that others might live and end the evil perpetrated by the National Socialists, the Nazis.
The Ten Boom family was humble and faithful. They started every day with a prayer session to which all were welcome. They had food at the ready for the needy and a bed for those who found themselves homeless. Their unmitigated courage and kindness should be recognized and honored. They truly lived righteously at a time when malevolence was everywhere, perhaps because they lived everyday righteously, even without the thought of impending doom hanging over their heads..
The belief in Christ is definitely a major theme in the book, but I didn’t find it offensive. I was reading about their experience and their beliefs. Their vivid descriptions of conditions seemed so precise that I could see the fleas and the lice crawling. If they wanted to find G-d’s hand, even in that filth, that was okay with me. The issues they faced were dealt with openly, as with the dialog about the physical appearance of some Jews, how they were described in some cases as too Semitic looking to easily hide. While this might seem a negative, stereotypical description of Jews, since only one was described as lovely and blonde and there was disbelief that she too was sacrificed, it seemed honest, it was the only time I sensed some possible prejudice.
The family was aware of the fact that people were disappearing at a time that most people turned a blind eye and they offered to help even when the clergy refused. Eventually, they were betrayed by a collaborator, yet Betsie, and eventually Corrie, forgave their enemies or at least tried to with the help of their G-d. No matter how many Holocaust books I read, I always learn something and I always am incredulous and brought to tears. So I respect whatever power worked for these righteous Gentiles. This is not a newly published work, but it will never be too late to read it and profit from their experience, from their courage and their example. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Jun 25, 2014 |
This book has been recommended to me for years. I've always had a fascination with WWII and the Holocaust, but I find reading about it difficult--a book is a long time to spend with one's head in such a dark place. Still, several people told me how uplifting and surprisingly light Ten Boom's story was, in spite of the darkness surrounding her. I can only add my agreement here.

From the first lines of the book, The Hiding Place captured me with its infectious warmth. Corrie Ten Boom was clearly tenacious in her optimism and faith, and that strength of spirit infuses her telling. I literally could not put the book down, and carried it with me throughout the house, finishing it in a day. ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Corrie ten Boomprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sherrill, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sherrill, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dunne, BernadetteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wellman, SamAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
I jumped out of bed that morning with one question in my mind—sun or fog?
I jumped out of bed that morning with one question in my mind - sun or fog? Usually it was fog in January in Holland, dank, chill, and gray. But occasionally - on a rare and magic day - a white winter sun broke through.
Quotations
I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.

“Love is the strongest force in the world.”
― Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Hiding Place is a true story about a family of Christian watchmakers during World War II. The main character, Corrie TenBoom, accounts the heart-gripping story of how she and her family were arrested and taken to a concentration camp in Nazi Germany for hiding Jews in their house. This story is extremely sad, yet hopeful at the sametime. It is filled with hope because Corrie TenBoom tells how she put her faith in God and how he got her through the most difficult and inscrutiating times. I really enjoyed this book because it gave me hope and showed me that if someone could have faith in God to get them through a Nazi concentration camp, then I can at least have faith in God to get me through my meager day.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553256696, Mass Market Paperback)

“I pray that God forgive them...”

Corrie Ten Boom stood naked with her older sister Betsie, watching a concentration camp matron beating a prisoner. “Oh, the poor woman,” Corrie cried. “Yes. May God forgive her,” Betsie replied. And, once again, Corrie realized that it was for the souls of the brutal Nazi guards that her sister prayed.

Both woman had been sent to the camp for helping the Jews. Christ’s Spirit and words were their guide; it was His persecuted people they tried to save—at the risk of their own lives; it was His strength that sustained them through times of profound horror.

Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. A story of Christ’s message and the courage woman who listened and lived to pass it along—with joy and triumph!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:30 -0400)

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The account of a Dutch girl growing up in Nazi-occupied Holland and her family who helped hide Jewish people. The account of a Dutch girl growing up in Nazi-occupied Holland & her family who helped hide Jewish people. Corrie Ten Boom stood naked with her older sister Betsie, watching a concentration camp matron beating a prisoner."Oh, the poor woman," Corrie cried."Yes. May God forgive her," Betsie replied. And, once again, Corrie realized that it was for the souls of the brutal Nazi guards that her sister prayed. Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. A story of Christ's message and the courageous woman who listened and lived to pass it along -- with joy and triumph!… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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