Corrie ten Boom
- Category : Religion-Missionary
- Type : GP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Limitation 1
Dutch heroine and Christian evangelist, famous for the book and the deeds of her noted family in "The hiding place".
Corrie was the daughter of the Protestant Dutch Reformed watchmaker Casper ten Boom (18 May 1859, Haarlem -10 March 1944, Loosduinen) and Cornelia "Cor" Johanna Arnolda Luitingh (19 May 1858, Amsterdam - 17 October 1921, Haarlem), who married on 16 October 1884 in Benthuizen.
They got five children: Elisabeth "Betsie" ten Boom, (19 Augustus 1885, A'dam - 16 December 1944, Ravensbrück concentration camp), Willem ten Boom (21 November 1886, A'dam - 13 December 1946, Hilversum), a theologian, Hendrick Jan ten Boom (12 September 1888 - 6 March 1889), Arnolda Johanna "Nollie" ten Boom (1890 - 22 October 1953) and Cornelia Arnolda Johanna "Corrie" ten Boom (1892 - 1983).
Caspar ten Boom was the son of Willem ten Boom, who had a watch shop at the prominent Barteljorisstraat 19, Haarlem, Netherlands, also called "Beje" and now a Holocaust museum. He took over his fathers business and the family lived at the two floors above the shop. Willem studied in Leiden theology and Nollie married and thus got away, but his two daughters Betsie and Corrie stayed with their old father. Corrie became the first licensed Dutch female watch maker after a study in Switzerland.
At the end of WW1 (1918) the family adopted foster children for several years. In 1921 Casper's wife died from a stroke. During the second world war, Casper ten Boom and his daughters Betsie en Corrie sheltered Jewish people, who were trying to escape from the Nazi Holocaust at their home. Some thirty eight Jewish people were saved, but only Corrie survived the Holocaust. All three were honoured by Yad Vashem.
When the Dutch Jews had to wear a seemingly toxic yellowish Jew star, Caspar ten Boom, meaning: Treasurer of the Tree, demonstratively wore an in his eyes Golden David Star. He honestly believed that all people were equal before God. When in May 1942, a desperate Jewish women appealed to him, he responded with: "In this household, God's people are always welcome" and gave her shelter for the Holocaust in his house. Many persecuted Jews and Nazi resisters would follow her.
Corrie first had trouble with the necessarily to be kept secret activities of her father. The Wiki states: "Corrie suffered a moral crisis over the lying, theft, forgery, and bribery that was necessary to keep the Jews her family was hiding alive". With help of the Dutch underground, they built a secret room ("Engelenbak") in the top of the building, where the refugees could hide in case of a a raid (Razzia). The resistance also arranged for ration cards that enabled them to buy enough food. But is was dangerous adventure that asked a lot of discipline of the Ten Boom family and their hiding guests. The Jewish people held their services, but the chazzan Meijer Mossel (1909, Amsterdam, 10 Jan 1909 – 3 April 1978, A'dam), had difficulty to praise the L'rd with a soft voice and had often to be called to silence.
On 28 February 1944 the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) raided the house after a tip of an unknown person. That day some 27 persons were in the house, including six Jews that slipped in the hiding place of 300x70 centimetres. Twenty-one persons were arrested, including Caspar, Betsie, Corrie and Nollie ten Boom. The SD suspected that there were more people in the house, and ordered that the police should observe it. One police agent, who cooperated with the resistance, called after several days one of the refugee by a name that could only be known to insiders of the resistance. The six came out of their hiding place and were brought to other addressees by the resistance. Three of the them survived the war, including the chazzan or Jewish fore-singer in the synagogue Meijer Mossel.
Casper ten Boom and his daughters were brought to the prison of Scheveningen, nicknamed "Oranjehotel", as it hosted many political prisoners. Casper's health was weakened by age (84) and tuberculosis; after eight days prison in Scheveningen, he was sent to a medical clinic in Loosduinen, where he died on 10 March 1944, ten days after the arrest of the family. Corrie and Betsie were interrogated by the Gestapo, but not tortured. They took all the blame for hiding the Jews, and after four months in Scheveningen, they were for this sent to Camp Vught (June - sept 1944), where they had to do forced labour. Through their confession, the other in their fathers house arrested guests were released.
In Scheveningen prison Corrie met her brother Willem, who was also caught for hiding Jews. Willem ten Boom, who was a PhD theologian and Dutch minister, had contracted jaundice in prison, and was in a bad shape. He would more or less survive the prison, but died of spinal tuberculosis shortly after the war. He was a noted contributor of the Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum of Johann Heinrich Callenberg.
In Camp Vught, Corrie was assigned to a factory that made radios for military aircraft. Betsie had to sew prison uniforms. Around the time of the Battle of Arnhem (Sept 1944), the Germans decided to evacuate their political prisoners of Camp Vught, so Corrie and Betsie were moved to the women's concentration camp Ravensbrück. Elisabeth ten Boom died 16 December 1944 in Ravensbrück. Before she died her elder sister Elisabeth said to Corrie: "Er is geen put zo diep, of Gods liefde gaat nog veel dieper" (There is no pit so deep, but G'd love is still deeper) and “God zal ons de liefde geven om onze vijanden te vergeven” (G'd will give us the love to forgive our enemies). A few days after her sisters death, Corrie was released from Ravensbrück by an administrative fault. She had to recover from oedema and returned before the end of the war to Haarlem.
After the war, she became an evangelist, motivational speaker and social critic, protesting against the Vietnam War. She visited more than 60 countries, not preaching for any particular belief, but believing in an Universal Holy Spirit that asks for peace and forgiveness. She received the Yas Vashem award for rescuing Jews in 1967, her father and sister received it posthumously on 15 April 2008.
The story of her family was written down by John and Elizabeth Sherrill.
She died 15 april 1983 in Orange, California.