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Corrie ten Boom,
(April 15, 1892 – April 15, 1983) was a Dutch Christian
Holocaust survivor who helped many Jews escape the
Nazis during World War II. Ten Boom co-wrote her autobiography, The Hiding Place, which was later made into a movie of the
same name. In 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, by 1942, she and her family had become very active in the Dutch
underground, hiding refugees. They rescued many Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazi SS. They helped Jews
because of their veneration for God's Chosen People (though the Ten Boom family was known for their gracious character
towards all--especially the handicapped), and even provided kosher food and honored the Sabbath. Corrie's family were strong
Christians. She and her family resided at Barteljorisstraat 19, Haarlem, Holland.
In May of 1942, a woman came to the Ten Boom door with a suitcase in hand. Nervously, she told Ten Boom that she was a Jew and that her husband had been arrested several months before, and her son had gone into hiding at Corrie ten Boom's home. Occupation authorities had recently visited her, and she was too fearful to return home. After hearing about how they had helped the Weils, she asked if she might stay with them, and Corrie ten Boom's father readily agreed. A devoted reader of the Old Testament, Casper ten Boom believed Jews were indeed "the chosen," and told the woman, "In this household, God's
people are always welcome. "Thus began "the hiding place", or "de schuilplaats", as it was known in Dutch (also known as "de BéJé", with BéJé being derived from the name of the street the house was in, the Barteljorisstraat). Ten Boom and her sister began taking in refugees, some of whom were Jews, others members of the resistance movement sought by the Gestapo and its Dutch counterpart. There were several extra rooms in their house, but food was scarce due to wartime shortages. Every non-Jewish Dutch person had received a ration card with which they could procure weekly coupons to buy food.
The Germans arrested the entire Ten Boom family on February 27, 1944 at around 12:30 with the help of a Dutch informant (Ten Boom would later discover his name to be Jan Vogel. They were sent first to Scheveningen prison (where her father died ten days after his capture), then to the Vught political concentration camp (both in the Netherlands), and finally to the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany in September 1944, where Corrie's sister Betsie died. Corrie was released in December 1944. In the movie The Hiding Place, Ten Boom narrates the section on her release from camp, saying that she later learned that her release had been a clerical error. The women prisoners her age in the camp were killed the week following her release. Ten Boom was honored by the State of Israel for her work in aid of the Jewish people. She was invited to plant a tree in the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles, at the Yad Vashem, near Jerusalem. Oskar Schindler is also honored there. Ten Boom was knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands in recognition of her work during the war, and a museum in the Dutch city
of Haarlem is dedicated to her and her family.