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Corrie ten Boom’s house is now the Corrie ten Boom Museum!  Taking a tour of the Ten Boom home is like stepping back in time.  This is a home of love and laughter, prayer and praise, compassion and ultimate sacrifice.  Listening to Corrie's story in her own home is a life-changing experience! 

The Corrie ten Boom Museum is located at 19 Barteljorisstraat in the center of Haarlem, Holland.  Since 1837, the ground floor of the home has been the Ten Boom Horologerie (Clock shop).  A watchmaker continues that tradition today, and the modernized shop sells watches, jewelry and antique clocks.  Some items carry the Ten Boom name.

     
Left photo: Casper ten Boom (back left) doing repairs.    Right: Today's Ten Boom Clock Shop. 

The museum has many rare family photographs.  From pictures of Corrie’s grandparents, to pictures spanning Corrie’s entire life, visitors gain new insight into this family.  Below are two of these treasured photographs. 

     
Left: Betsie, Willem, Nollie, and Corrie.   Right photo: Willem and his wife Tine with baby; Nollie, Corrie, Cor, Betsie, and Casper.

  The photo above is the family’s dining room.  Over the years, many people have taken their places around the Ten Boom's oval table.  There were nine in the household as Corrie grew up.  Corrie’s parents, Casper and Cor, the four children, Betsie, Willem, Nollie, and Corrie, and the three aunts, Tante Jans, Tante Bep, and Tante Anna.  Later, the Ten Booms cared for a series of foster children, orphans, and missionary children.  During the occupation, the places around the table were filled with Jews and others in hiding.  Papa’s Bible is open to Psalm 91.  The Alpina watch company sign is in the window.  Today, many of Corrie’s books are sold from the shelves in this room.

This is the Ten Boom's living room, the Liberation Room.  During the occupation, this was the one place in the house large enough for everyone to gather; Papa, Corrie and Betsie together with those who were in hiding. They shared like a family, and supported one another through that incredibly dangerous time. 

 

It is amazing that there are photographs of the Ten Booms with their “extended family”, Jews and underground workers, all in hiding in their home.  Many of these photographs are on display in the museum.  The Corrie ten Boom Foundation is grateful to Hans Poley for these photographs. 


Corrie is second from the left in the top row, Casper is in front of Corrie, Betsie is on the right of the top row, and Hans Poley is in front of Betsie.   

 

Yes, visitors to the Corrie ten Boom Museum are actually able to see “the Hiding Place”!  It is an area behind a false wall in Corrie’s bedroom where Jews were hidden.  On the day of the Gestapo raid, two Dutch underground workers and four Jews rushed into this small space.  They entered through the sliding door located in the bottom of the linen closet (on the left of the photograph).  They remained in this small space for 47 hours, until they were rescued by the underground!  All six left this home safely.  The Jews were taken to new safe houses, and three of the four Jews survived the war.  The large hole in the brick wall allows museum visitors see inside the Hiding Place.

For their crime of helping Jews, the Ten Boom family was sent to prison.  Papa died within ten days of his arrest.  He had said it would be a privilege to give his life for the Jews.  Willem and his son Christian also died due to their imprisonments.  Corrie and Betsie spent a total of ten months in three different prisons.  The last was Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, located near Berlin, Germany.  Betsie died there, but through a clerical error, and God’s miracle, Corrie was released.  Starting at age 52, she spent the next 33 years sharing what she and Betsie had learned in Ravensbruck.  “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still", and that “God will enable you to forgive your enemies”. 

   
Corrie in her travels.

Following strokes, Corrie died on her birthday, April 15, 1983, when she was 91 years old.  Below is one of the last photographs taken of her.  Today, the Ten Boom's witness still touches hearts through Corrie’s books, videos, and through the Corrie ten Boom Museum.

 

The Corrie ten Boom Museum also includes an exhibition of the Dutch Underground Resistance Movement.  Many  photographs and mementos of the occupation years are on display. 

Content © Corrie ten Boom Foundation, E. Smith.
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