The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom
by Corrie ten Boom
Published: January 1, 1970
Genres: Memoir, World War II
Format: Hardcover (242 pages)
At one time Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that there would ever be a story to tell. For the first fifty years of her life nothing at all out of the ordinary had ever happened to her. She was an old-maid watchmaker living contentedly with her spinster sister and their elderly father in the tiny Dutch house over their shop. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another. However, with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, a story did ensue.
Corrie ten Boom and her family became leaders in the Dutch Underground, hiding Jewish people in their home in a specially built room and aiding their escape from the Nazis. For their help, all but Corrie found death in a concentration camp. The Hiding Place is their story.
I read a lot of World War II books last year, but this one was a little different. This was a story about hope and faith. Even though it’s set in a concentration camp, I found it inspiring and uplifting instead of depressing and sad. It’s more about rising above the evil around us. Yes, truly horrible things happen in this story but she does a beautiful job of showing how we can overcome it.
“Our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.” – pg 33
When Corrie and her sister first come to the concentration camp, her sister has them pray and give thanks for everything they have – even the fleas. Corrie is sure that her sister is wrong that there is anything to be grateful for with fleas. Later, they find out that they have rest from the strict rules and abuse from the guards because they won’t go in the barracks which are full of fleas.
When she is tempted to hoard her medicine instead of sharing, she says this:
“Oh, this was the great ploy of Satan in that kingdom of his: to display such blatant evil that one could almost believe one’s own secret sins didn’t matter.” – pg 208
She has faith and shares the medicine with the many people that need it and it doesn’t run out until they get more. Her faith also helps her forgive those who tortured her and to help her find a place of refuge in Christ when life is at it’s worst.
I found this quote quite chilling:
“A full ten years ago, way back in 1927, Willem had written in his doctoral thesis, done in Germany, that a terrible evil was taking root in that land. Right at the university, he said, seeds were being planted of a contempt for human life such as the world had never seen. The few who had read his paper had laughed.” – pg 19
It’s a sobering reminder that we dismiss and laugh at things that we shouldn’t ignore.
I wish I could share all the quotes I loved in this book, but I highlighted so many that you might as well just read it yourself ;)