Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom, John Scherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill

Read, reviewed, and sent to another Bookcrosser in August, 2009

An autobiography of a World War II concentration camp survivor, written with the help of friends. Corrie ten Boom of Haarlem, the Netherlands, and her family provided sanctuary for dozens of Dutch Jews during the Nazi occupation. They were betrayed, arrested, and imprisoned. Corrie's father and sister, and other family members, died in the camps, but Corrie lived to tell, and to witness to God's amazing love and the strength given her to get through. The title of the book refers not only to the Secret Room in the ten Boom home, but also to Jesus Christ, who gives us peace in our hearts in all circumstances. She was a missionary for Jesus Christ until well into her eighties.

There are parts of it that I didn't remember from 30 years ago when I first read it, and parts that I understand better now, since my own faith has grown.

In 2001, my husband and I visited Haarlem, the Netherlands, and toured the ten Boom home and watch shop. (They still sell watches and clocks, but they no longer make them there. I bought a Delft blue miniature grandfather-style clock.) We went up the narrow stairs to the Secret Room, where six people, Jews and resistance workers, survived the search and subsequent guarding of the house, and were later sent to safer quarters. The house looks exactly as described in the book and shown in the movie (it must have been filmed there).

We stayed on the Grote Markt (at the Hotel Amadeus), and toured St. Bavo's Cathedral, both mentioned in the book, so I could picture as I read how it must have been for the ten Boom family.

Corrie ten Boom has written other books, too, including In My Father's House, telling of her early years before the war, and Tramp for the Lord, telling of her work giving talks and raising money for the homes she founded for WWII survivors in the Netherlands and in Germany.

Click here to read Bookcrosser hotflash's review.

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