This is a drawing of
the Ten Boom family home, Barteljorisstraat 19, Haarlem, Holland. The drawing
looks very much like the house does today. In 1837 Willem ten Boom opened
a watch shop in this house. His family lived in the rooms
above the shop. The home was later passed down to Willem’s son, Casper,
and then to Casper’s daughter, Corrie. In 1987 the Corrie ten Boom
House Foundation purchased the building. To continue this family’s
witness, in 1988 the Foundation opened this home as a museum. It is often
called the Hiding Place. It has become a symbol that surpasses national boundaries.
share the inspiring story of the Ten Booms and the Hiding Place with you!
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 Booms' 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
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. 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.
On February 28, 1944,
this family was betrayed and the Gestapo (the Nazi secret police) raided their
home. The Gestapo set a trap and waited throughout the day, seizing everyone who
came to the house. By evening about 30 people had been taken into custody!
Casper, Corrie and Betsie were all arrested. Corrie’s brother Willem, sister
Nollie, and nephew Peter were at the house that day, and were also
taken to prison.
Although the Gestapo
systematically searched the house, they could not find what they sought most.
They suspected Jews were in the house, but the Jews were safely hidden behind a
false wall in Corrie’s bedroom. In this "hiding place" were two
Jewish men, two Jewish women and two members of the Dutch underground. Although
the house remained under guard, the Resistance was able to liberate the refugees
47 hours later. The six people had managed to stay quiet in their cramped,
dark hiding place for all that time, even though they had no water and very
little food. The four Jews were taken to new "safe houses," and three
survived the war. One of the underground workers was killed during the war
years, but the other survived.
materials and extra ration cards were found in their home, the Ten Boom
family was imprisoned. Casper (84 years old) died after only 10 days in Scheveningen Prison. When Casper was asked if he knew he could die for
helping Jews, he replied, "It would be an honor to give my life for God's
ancient people." Corrie and Betsie spent 10 months in three different
prisons, the last was the infamous Ravensbruck Concentration Camp located near
Berlin, Germany. Life in the camp was almost unbearable, but Corrie
and Betsie spent their time sharing Jesus' love with their fellow
prisoners. Many women became Christians in that terrible place because of
Corrie and Betsie's witness to them. Betsie (59) died in Ravensbruck, but
Corrie survived. Corrie’s nephew, Christiaan (24), had been sent to Bergen
Belsen for his work in the underground, and never returned. Corrie’s
brother, Willem (60), was also a ring leader in the Dutch underground. While in
prison for this "crime," he contracted spinal tuberculosis and died
shortly after the war.
Four Ten Booms
gave their lives for this family’s commitment, but Corrie came home from
the death camp. She realized her life was a gift from God, and she
needed to share what she and Betsie had learned in Ravensbruck: "There is no
pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still" and "God will give
us the love to be able to forgive our enemies." At age 53, Corrie
began a world-wide ministry which took her into more than 60 countries in the next
years! She testified to God’s love and encouraged all she met with the message
that "Jesus is Victor."
Corrie received many
tributes. Corrie was knighted by the Queen of
Holland. In 1968, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem (Yad Vashem) asked Corrie
to plant a tree in the Garden of Righteousness, in honor of the many Jewish lives
her family saved. Corrie’s tree stands there today. In the early 1970's Corrie's book THE HIDING PLACE became a best seller and World Wide Pictures
released the major motion picture "The Hiding Place." Corrie went on
to write many other inspiring books and make several evangelical videos.
Corrie was a woman
who was faithful to God. She died on her 91st birthday,
April 15, 1983. It is interesting that Corrie's passing occurred on her
birthday. In the Jewish tradition, it is only very blessed people
who are allowed the special privilege of dying on their birthday!
is recounted in her books THE HIDING PLACE and TRAMP FOR THE LORD. These,
and many other books and videos about this family are available from the
Book Shop on this web site.
Announcing a very special new
book, MORE THAN A HIDING PLACE: THE LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCES OF CORRIE
TEN BOOM. This is the most complete book ever written about Corrie and
her family. It contains over 200 photographs (many in color) and the
inspiring story of Corrie's life, told primarily in her own words. The Book
Shop has more information.
Any items ordered
from our Book Shop will help support the Corrie ten Boom Museum!