Schvengenin

They were taken to The Hague, which was rumoured to be the location of the Gestapo headquarters in Holland. The chief interrogator there seem shocked that Caspar had been arrested.

I’d like to send you home, old fellow. I’ll take your word that you won’t cause any more trouble.
– Gestapo chief

If I go home today, tomorrow I will open my door again to any man in need who knocks.
– Caspar

Corrie tried to free the others of blame by admitting to being the ‘ringleader’. It failed and many of the group were moved to prison.

They arrived at Schvengenin Prison, where the ten Boom family were separated. Corrie was sent to a cell shared with three other prisoners. But, after two weeks, she was taken to a doctor, and then to solitary confinement, probably due to illness.

On 20 April, 1944 (Hitler’s birthday), all of the prison guards were absent at a party. The women began to call out to each other through the food holes in their doors, passing names left and right down the corridor. They tried to send messages and find out about other prisoners. Corrie heard rumours of a prospective Allied invasion of Europe, that Nollie had been released more than a month before, and that Betsie was still alive, though in prison. Peter, Pickwick and Willem had all been released as well. There was no word of Caspar.

Soon afterwards, Corrie received a letter and a package from Nollie, containing some of the items from Corrie’s prison bag and the news that Caspar ten Boom had died 10 days after his arrest. Corrie added another date to her list scratched on the wall – ‘Father released’.

Corrie noticed that the handwriting on the envelope was slanting up towards the stamp in an unusual way. Upon investigation, Corrie found that there was a message hidden under the stamp: ‘All the watches in your closet are safe’. Corrie knew that those hidden in the secret room were still safe.

Late in May, 1944, Corrie was finally interrogated. She was given a list of names to see if she could identify any of them. She realised, for the first time, the value of the ubiquitous Smit, because she knew none of the names, and could not give away any signal of recognition. It became clear to her that the Gestapo believed that the Beje had been the headquarters of raids on food ration offices, while Corrie knew nothing beyond her own cards.

Over three successive mornings Lieutenant Rahms gave up the pretence of questioning her, telling her of his family, and asking about her pre-war life in Holland. At a later date, he took Corrie to the reading of her father’s will. There she was reunited with her family, and learned that Kik had been caught and sent on a prison train… probably to Germany. She was also told that the local police chief had arranged for a couple of sympathetic officers to be assigned to surveillance duties of the Beje; and they had sent the Jews to new hiding places. Before she left, Nollie gave Corrie a bible in a pouch that could be hung round her neck.

Some time after this, an order was given to the prisoners to prepare for an evacuation. Spotting Betsie in the crowd waiting to board the train, Corrie forced her way towards her. The four months in Schvengenin had been their only time apart in 53 years, and Corrie felt more confident besides Betsie.

They arrived at Vught, a Concentration Camp for political prisoners, where they were given forms, which another prisoner told them meant they were to be released. Instead, they were sent into the main camp. Corrie was shaken by this disappointment, but Betsie saw it as a chance to share God’s word.

 

ten boom house

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The Beje

Cornelia (Corrie) Arnolda Johanna ten Boom was born on 15 April, 1892, the youngest of four children. The others were Willem, Betsie, and Nollie. Her devoutly Christian family lived with three of Corrie’s aunts in a house called the ‘Beje’, which was situated above her father’s watch shop in Haarlem, the Netherlands. But, by the time the war began, only she, Betsie, and their father, Caspar, remained in the Beje. Corrie followed her father into the watch making business, becoming the first female horologist in Haarlem.

The Hiding Place is the story of the ten Boom family during World War II. It is Corrie’s personal memoir of the events that she experienced. And it is also a personal statement of her faith as a Christian.

The story of The Hiding Place opens in 1937 with the 100th birthday of the watch shop. This introduces the reader to all the major characters of the story: the whole ten Boom family, as well as ‘Oom’ Hermann Sluring (known as Pickwick), a wealthy friend of the family. At this party Corrie received the first hint of her future, when Willem (who had been preaching of the dangers of Nazism as early as 1927) arrived at the party with a Jew, who had just escaped from Germany.

 

ten boom house

The Hiding Place in the Corrie Ten Boom Museum

Much of Corrie’s time was spent caring for these people once they were in hiding. Through these activities, the ten Boom family and their many friends saved the lives of an estimated 800 Jews, and protected many Dutch underground workers.

Real-time obedience

This is a real-time essay. The Lord is calling me to obey him in something today, and I would like to write to you about it as I process it. The matter concerns an angry email I received this morning and my working through how to reply. My first reaction was self-defense. I felt I had grounds. I felt I had been misunderstood. I felt I could justify what I was being accused of.

Still, I have decided to wait a while before replying. In the meantime I have read the Bible, taken a long walk, had breakfast, replied to other emails, and watched a 1974 interview of Corrie Ten Boom.

This was enough time for the Holy Spirit who lives inside me to suggest I trash my scripted reply to the angry letter. It is possible to be right in an argument (and yet I may not be as right as I think I am) but to be called to a higher response than rightness. If I respond to my friend with my justifications, he may agree with me or he may not. But will that produce the best result? Paul says, “The aim of our charge is love” (1 Timothy 1:5). What response could I give to the man that would be most aligned with that aim?

Over the past few hours I have come around to seeing that my words to my friend (the words that prompted his terse email) were not the best; they fell short of Christ’s call to “be perfect.” There are a dozen things I could have said that would have been better—that would have been peaceable, gentle, fruitful (James 3:17). And when we know what is the best thing to do and yet we settle for something less, we sin (James 4:17).

I have found throughout my life that when apologizing and asking forgiveness, it is best to do it cleanly. Tacking on a rider, even a mild and subtle one, ruins a worthy apology. When I speak to my friend next, I will simply tell him that I should not have spoken to him that way—and then may the Lord put a clamp on my mouth. Let me make this a public commitment before you all.

I know that afterward I will feel strengthened in my spirit if I do things God’s way and not in the way of fleshly desire. One always does. The choice of sin always carries its own punishment in the body (Romans 1:27), and the choice o    f obedience its own reward (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Courtesy of Andree Seu of Worldmag

 

Ten Boom | Ten Boom Museum

Ten Boom Hiding Place – An Inspiration Worldwide

Corrie started sharing her experiences with the Nazis when she was relieved. After the war, she told people that it’s Betsie’s vision for the Ten Boom Hiding Place to be a shelter to save people during the war. Corrie was invited to speak in several countries like America, England and many more. She was able to gain forgiveness when it comes to Germany though how bitter memories are there. She was able to meet the former guards of Ravensbruck.

She was then asked by a Christian Relief organization to join them manage a camp for refugees who had suffered under Hitler’s regime. Eventually it turned out to be what’s Betsie’s vision.

Corrie was able to write many books and spread all over the world making her famous. She haas been traveling on different countries even those communist ones and inspiring people how good God is even during bad times. But wherever she is, she always visit prisoners as she had been into the same feelings and experiences as those people.

Everything has an end, and she died in her peaceful home in America but full of love from God. Her story was called Ten Boom Hiding Place and later made into a film.

Ten Boom Hiding Place

Ten Boom Hid Jews in the Hiding Place

During the Nazi Occupation, the ten Boom family hid Jews, as well as Gentiles who were targeted by the Nazis in the ten Boom hiding place which was built inside Corrie ten Boom’s bedroom. Everything was thought of from outside venting to water, hardtack and vitamins. Those who stayed in the ten Booms’ home ate together, shared in the household chores, read scriptures and prayed together, and even put on plays and evenings of entertainment, celebrating all faiths’ holidays. Although the Jews and other guests slept in spare rooms throughout the house an alarm system had been installed to alert them of danger. This would allow those in hiding a chance to run to the top floor of the long house and slide into the small closet behind a false wall in Corrie’s bedroom.

Eventually Corrie along with other family members was arrested. Corrie spent four months in solitary confinement at a prison and then was transferred with her sister to Ravensbrück. Her sister Betsie died in December of 1944. Corrie was released on a clerical error weeks after her beloved sister’s death. Casper ten Boom died after 10 days in prison. In fact all the family rescuers but Corrie, her nephew Peter, Willem and Nollie died at the hands of the Nazis for their altruistic actions.

Keeping Alive the Corrie ten Boom Tradition of Care

The Jerusalem Prayer Team is a direct outreach of the Corrie ten Boom Fellowship. The family ten Boom started a weekly prayer meeting for the Jewish people in 1844, after a moving worship service in the Dutch Reformed Church of Rev. Witteveen. Willem ten Boom felt the need to pray for the Jewish people, so he started the weekly prayer meeting where the family and others who stopped by specifically prayed for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). These meetings took place every week for one hundred years, until February 28, 1944, when Nazi soldiers came to the house to take them away for helping local Jews and hiding them in a secret room. On that day, the family was together for a Bible study and prayer meeting. Following the tradition of the ten Boom family, Jerusalem Prayer Team continues to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and encourages Christians to exercise their faith by helping the Jewish people — God’s ancient people.

Read more about Corrie ten Boom and the Ten Boom Hiding Place at http://jerusalemprayerteam.org/hidingplace.asp

Devout Christian Family Shelters Jews in WWII

TenBoomFamily

During the Second World War, the ten Boom home became a refuge, a ten Boom hiding place, for fugitives and those hunted by the Nazis. By protecting these people, Casper and his daughters, Corrie and Betsie, risked their lives. This non-violent resistance against the Nazi-oppressors was the ten Boom’s way of living out their Christian faith. This faith led them to hide Jews, students who refused to cooperate with the Nazis, and members of the Dutch “underground” resistance movement. Read more…

The Hiding Place

In 1837, Willem ten Boom opened a Clock Shop in this house. His family lived in the rooms above the shop. The ten Boom family were devoted Christians who dedicated their lives in service to their fellow man. Their home was always an “open house” for anyone in need. Through the decades, the ten Booms were very active in social work in Haarlem, and their faith inspired them to serve the religious community and society at large.

During the Second World War, the ten Boom home became a refuge, a hiding place, for fugitives and those hunted by the Nazis. By protecting these people, Casper and his daughters, Corrie and Betsie, risked their lives. This non-violent resistance against the Nazi-oppressors was the ten Boom’s way of living out their Christian faith. This faith led them to hide Jews, students who refused to cooperate with the Nazis, and members of the Dutch “underground” resistance movement.

During 1943 and into 1944, there were usually 6-7 people illegally living in this home, 4 Jews and 2 or 3 members of the Dutch underground. Additional refugees would stay with the ten Booms for a few hours or a few days until another “safe house” could be located for them. Corrie became a ringleader within the network of the Haarlem underground. Corrie and “the Beje group” would search for courageous Dutch families who would take in refugees, and much of Corrie’s time was spent caring for these people once they were in hiding.

Read more about the ten Boom hiding place at the Jerusalem Prayer Team website.