Corrie Ten Boom: Holocaust Survivor and Missionary
I have heard her name several times but I knew nothing about her life. A friend had given me a biography of her life to use for homeschool. So I decided that if I was going to have my kids read it I should read it.
Once I started I couldn’t put it down. It reminded me of The Diary of Anne Frank with a different view. Corrie and her family helped hide Jewish families when the Nazis began to invade Holland. A person they trusted turned the Ten Boom family over to the Nazis and they were arrested and taken to a concentration camp.
As I got into a few chapters I read something that was very scary to me. It reminded me of America today and what we take for granted. Slowly our freedoms are being taken away and yet we don’t realize it and when we do we choose to say or do nothing. “Like blood through a bandage, changes seeped across the border into Holland. The German soldiers who came into the clock shop weren’t as polite as before. They asked questions and peered through open doorways. Slowly the comforts the Dutch people enjoyed were disappearing. They were small things, inconveniences at first. The curfew kept being moved up, until no one could be on the streets after 8pm. Each night all windows had to be blacked out with heavy drapes so that the British bombers could see no lights from the air to help them work out their position. “(Benge, Janet & Geoff. Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den. Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 1999)
It goes on to say more about the things that slipped quickly out of their hands. “Many of the things everyone had taken for granted disappeared from the store shelves. Some things could now be purchased only on the black market and other things not at all.” (Benge, Janet & Geoff. Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den. Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 1999)
It is little things that we might find silly that were small freedoms taken away. “Some of the Nazis’ rules, though, just made the Dutch people laugh. For example, the Nazis banned all orange-colored tulips in Holland.” (Benge, Janet & Geoff. Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den. Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 1999)
So many things were racing through my mind as I continued to read these paragraphs. The ban on cell phones in cars came to mind. Is that really for safety or is that infringing on our rights? Being treated like a terrorist and checked by TSA at airports also jumped to mind. Is that to make us feel safe or infringe upon our freedoms? Or is it just a ploy to make us think they are protecting us because in some sick way they’ve made us believe we need their protection???
Corrie’s father and older sister died in the camps. Fortunately, her father died early on and did not have to suffer the absolute torture that she and her sister had to endure. She was smuggled a Bible and would read it to other prisoners. She would sing hymns and pray. She was truly an inspiration to other prisoners in those camps. Her sister kept telling her, ”We tell them there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper.” That one quote from her sister was the base of her life’s work. She went on to do just that. She forgave soldiers that had done horrendous things. She taught others about God’s love. When she got tired and wanted to quit and rest she could hear her sister echoing those words.
Her story is one that we should look back on, reflect upon and learn from. Even if you are not Christian there is still a lesson to be learned from her life. Read the story and take a step back into history. Think for a moment and ask yourself, ”Could history repeat itself?”