The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom

The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom

At one time Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that there would ever be a story to tell. For the first fifty years of her life nothing at all out of the ordinary had ever happened to her. She was an old-maid watchmaker living contentedly with her spinster sister and their elderly father in the tiny Dutch house over their shop. Their uneventful days, as regulate...

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Title:The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom
Author:Corrie ten Boom
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Edition Language:English

The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom Reviews

  • Liz

    I qualified the recommendation based on age because there are some difficult situations I think, for younger people. I have read many, many holocaust books, and this is by far my favorite. I wept and wept, not just for the suffering she endured, but mostly for the way in which she and her sister Betsie faced their suffering with such faith. For how they looked for opportunities to be selfless in a concentration camp, and how the women there were changed just by their example. I wept at my utter

    I qualified the recommendation based on age because there are some difficult situations I think, for younger people. I have read many, many holocaust books, and this is by far my favorite. I wept and wept, not just for the suffering she endured, but mostly for the way in which she and her sister Betsie faced their suffering with such faith. For how they looked for opportunities to be selfless in a concentration camp, and how the women there were changed just by their example. I wept at my utter failure in faith. It made me reexamine everything I take for granted daily, and to thank God even for the fleas!

  • Werner

    When I was adding every book I could remember ever reading to my Goodreads shelves, I automatically slapped three-star ratings on all the nonfiction books (unless I'd disliked them, or they were specially influential for me) without thinking much about it; I'm more apt to reserve four or five star ratings for fiction --and I'm miserly with the five star ones! But this was a case where, when I sat down to do the review, I decided to change the rating. Corrie's personal narrative of her World War

    When I was adding every book I could remember ever reading to my Goodreads shelves, I automatically slapped three-star ratings on all the nonfiction books (unless I'd disliked them, or they were specially influential for me) without thinking much about it; I'm more apt to reserve four or five star ratings for fiction --and I'm miserly with the five star ones! But this was a case where, when I sat down to do the review, I decided to change the rating. Corrie's personal narrative of her World War II experiences genuinely are "amazing," in the true sense of the word --both in terms of what she and others went through, what they were called on to do, and the attitude that she and her sister were able to take toward it all. And while, other things being equal, I prefer fiction to nonfiction when I'm reading for pleasure, this book consists of narrative --"story," if you will-- that has the same intrinsic appeal as fiction (perhaps more, simply because it

    true) and is every bit as gripping and engrossing.

    Of course, Corrie's story is inseparably steeped with her deep Christian faith, and is impossible to understand apart from it. Obedient love for God and for other people created by God was the motivating force for Corrie and her family to do what they did, and for the spirit in which they did it. For a Christian believer such as myself, her story is an inspiration to the same type of self-sacrifice and loyalty, a testament to the ability of Divine empowerment to bring out extraordinary possibilities in "ordinary" people, and a record of God's saving and helping acts in the nitty-gritty world of daily life, such as Corrie's never-failing vitamin bottle. (Any attempt to explain all of these away as "coincidence," IMHO, stretches the long arm of coincidence out of its shoulder socket!).

  • Karen

    By far one of the best and most inspirational books I've ever read. I've underlined so many parts of this book! I first read this with my first book club almost 10 years ago and read it back in October with my current book club -- still find it absolutely amazing and one I want to read and re-read.

    One of my favorite themes of the book is stated by the author on page 31: "the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will gi

    By far one of the best and most inspirational books I've ever read. I've underlined so many parts of this book! I first read this with my first book club almost 10 years ago and read it back in October with my current book club -- still find it absolutely amazing and one I want to read and re-read.

    One of my favorite themes of the book is stated by the author on page 31: "the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do." Goes along with my belief that all things will work together for our good. Not that only good things will happen to us, but that all things will work for our good. Even when our Father takes us, not to "the windmill ... or swans on the canal" but somewhere where we don't want to go and we howl and struggle all the way (p. 40). We can trust in Him that all things will work together for our good. Another favorite part is in the example of Betsie, the author's sister, who gives thanks in all circumstances, even for the fleas (p. 210). Several pages later, the author explains how even the fleas worked together for their good (p.220). Even when we may not always have the "whys", we can trust in Him that our experiences are for our good.

    I found it amazing when Nollie is asked by if Annaliese is a Jew and she responds, "yes." Nollie's perfect honesty requires that she answer "yes" even when it may mean death for someone who has trusted them! Nollie has perfect faith that no suffering will come to Annaliese because Nollie obeyed Him in being honest in all things. Miraculously and sure enough, Annaliese is set free.

    As a mother, I have always wondered how the Jewish people hid their children (crying babies etc.) from the Nazis when they were in hiding. I found it poignant and sad when the author noted that "even the youngest had developed the uncanny silence of small hunted things" (p. 114).

    Above all, I love this book for its reminder to me of the eternal perspective. How true that He can give us His perspective when we feel trapped in the reality of filthy and cramped barracks, His way of seeing people who we cannot understand, His forgiveness for those who have hurt us, His love for those we think we cannot love, and His strength to replace our weaknesses. Which leads me to a final favorite quote and life-lesson I've learned: "When He tells us to love our enemies [or any other thing He has asked us to do], He gives, along with the command the love itself" (p. 248).

  • Meg

    Every human being should be required to read this book. I guarantee it will change forever the way you look at life.

    The memoir is a true account of Corrie Ten Boom's experiences in German-occupied Holland during WWII (and afterward in prisons and concentration camps). The most amazing thing to me is that she was not Jewish. She was a Dutch Christian who freely sacrificed her own life, and the lives of those she loved most, to fight against cruelty and hate. I read the book aloud to my husband,

    Every human being should be required to read this book. I guarantee it will change forever the way you look at life.

    The memoir is a true account of Corrie Ten Boom's experiences in German-occupied Holland during WWII (and afterward in prisons and concentration camps). The most amazing thing to me is that she was not Jewish. She was a Dutch Christian who freely sacrificed her own life, and the lives of those she loved most, to fight against cruelty and hate. I read the book aloud to my husband, taking a break at some point in each chapter just because I couldn't read for the tears. I can understand overcoming amid tragedy, but thanking God for the fleas that are eating your flesh? Praying for the guard who beats you? Two questions kept going through my head in the journey with Corrie: "Are there really people in the world who are this GOOD?" and "Why am I such a selfish, ungrateful, spoiled brat?"

    I loved the paradox of a tragedy not told as tragedy. Unimaginably horrible things happen... and yet it's told as a wonderful story of forgiveness, faith, and gratitude for the constant miracles and mercies of God. Unbelievable. Probably my #1 recommendation for people who feel like they need an attitude adjustment - it certainly adjusted mine. Permanently.

    And please don't say, "ANOTHER Holocaust book?" I hate it when people say that. As far as I'm concerned, I'll be terrified the day we STOP writing them.

    FAVORITE QUOTES:

    "Corrie... do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel. God loves Karel--even more than you do--and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way."

    "It is wrong to base faith upon wishes. There will be war. The Germans will attack and we will fall... Oh, my dears, I am sorry for all Dutchmen now who do not know the power of God. For we will be beaten. But He will not."

    "Father held the baby close, his white beard brushed its cheek, looking into the little face with eyes as blue and innocent as the baby's own. At last he looked up at the pastor. 'You say we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family.'"

    "There are no 'ifs' in God's Kingdom. His timing is perfect. His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus, keep me in Your will! Don't let me go mad by poking about outside it."

    MY FAVORITE STORY:

    "One dark morning when ice was forming a halo around each street lamp, a feeble-minded girl two rows ahead of us suddenly soiled herself. A guard rushed at her, swinging her thick leather crop while the girl shrieked in pain and terror. It was always more terrible when one of these innocent ones was beaten. Still [she] continued to whip her... I was grateful when the screaming girl at last lay still on the cinder street.

    "'Betsie,' I whispered when the guard was far enough away, 'what can we do for these people? Afterward I mean. Can't we make a home for them and care for them and love them?'

    "'Corrie, I pray every day that we will be allowed to do this! To show them that love is greater!'

    "And it wasn't until I was gathering twigs later in the morning that I realized that I had been thinking of the feeble-minded, and Betsie of their persecutors."

  • Leila

    I have read this book before many years ago., but reading about it here on Goodreads reminded me how much I had been absorbed and overwhelmed by the courage and utter dedication of this young woman (the author) and I valued it highly. Although Corrie is a deeply commited Christian you don't have be of any particular religion to read and appreciate this book. She risked everything including her life during World War II to save as many Jews as possible from the Nazi regime in Holland. She and her

    I have read this book before many years ago., but reading about it here on Goodreads reminded me how much I had been absorbed and overwhelmed by the courage and utter dedication of this young woman (the author) and I valued it highly. Although Corrie is a deeply commited Christian you don't have be of any particular religion to read and appreciate this book. She risked everything including her life during World War II to save as many Jews as possible from the Nazi regime in Holland. She and her older sister Betsie lived through terrifying times to achieve this and endured starvation, torture and humiliation when captured by the Gestapo. The first half of the book is more about her daily life as the daughter of a man widely acclaimed as a watch and clock maker and repairer and a member of a loving family. The second part is all about how they devote their lives to the rescue of Jews from the enemy. Corrie and her sister have a powerful faith in God and the story is inspiring but heartrending. This book is for me a classic and supremely special whatever your beliefs might be or not be.

  • Natalie Vellacott

    Most people have started 2018 with parties and fireworks. I've started it by finishing a five star book!

    I've read

    a few times before but not in recent years. With so many Christian friends on Goodreads, it is the book that I see most often on people's 'favourite' shelf. During this re-read I was reminded that it deserves to be there.

    Most of you will know the story; Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie are the unmarried daughters of Casper, a Christian watchmaker in Holland duri

    Most people have started 2018 with parties and fireworks. I've started it by finishing a five star book!

    I've read

    a few times before but not in recent years. With so many Christian friends on Goodreads, it is the book that I see most often on people's 'favourite' shelf. During this re-read I was reminded that it deserves to be there.

    Most of you will know the story; Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie are the unmarried daughters of Casper, a Christian watchmaker in Holland during the early 1900's. They could be running a successful and profitable business but, as Christians, are prone to charity and acts of kindness leaving them comfortable but not well-off. The scene is set by the author, Corrie, and a picture of a happy family life emerges. The everyday details and the author's humour are what make the book, indeed she is a marvellous story-teller and none of it is in any way monotonous.

    During the Nazi occupation in the late 1930's, the ten Boom family adapt their business to harbour Jewish refugees as they become involved in the underground movement of the period. Corrie, in particular, devotes her time and attention to caring for and helping these persecuted people and takes great risks in the process.

    Eventually, their happy family life, which had gradually been eroded by events on the horizon, is shattered as the entire family are captured and led off to Germany. Corrie and her sister Betsie end up in Ravensbruck, a notorious concentration camp. Here, Corrie faces up to her spiritual weakness as her physical body suffers:

    The breakthrough comes when Corrie, following the example of her never wavering sister who even praises God for the fleas, realises that all is not in vain and life has a purpose again:

    What an incredible picture of true faith in the face of such hardness and suffering. Anyone going through trials will benefit from this book. Likewise those seeking to be content in all circumstances and to rejoice in the Lord always.

    is clean: there is no swearing or blasphemy, there is no sexual content, there are some graphic scenes relating to the treatment of prisoners and the suffering in the concentration camp. These are relayed factually without embellishment or sensationalism.

    An incredible testimony of a family completely sold out for God whatever the cost.

  • Bark

    Okay, so the many five stars all around on this here book page were warranted. It’s a heartbreaking, painful read. It’s also full of faith, strength, kindness and perseverance. I’m very glad I gave it a listen. The narrator is terrific and emotive and has the ability to draw you into the time and place instead of taking you out of it!

    Corrie ten Boom is a 40 something spinster at peace with her quiet life. She is a watchmaker in her father’s shop and lives with her older sister and their kind fa

    Okay, so the many five stars all around on this here book page were warranted. It’s a heartbreaking, painful read. It’s also full of faith, strength, kindness and perseverance. I’m very glad I gave it a listen. The narrator is terrific and emotive and has the ability to draw you into the time and place instead of taking you out of it!

    Corrie ten Boom is a 40 something spinster at peace with her quiet life. She is a watchmaker in her father’s shop and lives with her older sister and their kind father. She never expected to become embroiled in an underground revolution but when German soldiers invade her homeland and friends and neighbors start to disappear because they are Jewish or lending Jewish families safe harbor, she can’t stand by and do nothing. As conditions become increasingly worse for the unfortunate people in her beloved town, she decides to put her life in danger in order to save those of others. Her family has a hidden room built and they take in the desperate. Eventually she is imprisoned, along with most of her family. She recounts the long, grueling days of hellish conditions in prison and in concentration camps. The sickness, the starvation and the everyday cruelties inflicted.

    I’m not religious but these characters are and they walk with a strong belief and unwavering (for the most part) faith and a gratitude for everything, even ants and fleas, yet I never felt preached at. Their faith makes up a big part of who they were and how they managed to make it through the inhumane conditions. If you read this account, it will leave a mark on you for certain. It’s not a book I will easily forget.

  • Noel

    Two stars. That's the best I can do on a book that came highly recommended and that I read with relish as I had just been to Amsterdam and surrounding areas, visited the Museum of the Resistance and the old Jewish Synagogue referred to in the book. So why two stars?

    I just didn't believe a lot of what I read. Here's what I do believe. I think Corrie, her sister Betsy, her father and other family members were courageous, passionate, religious, pro-active and bold. They did what many in Holland di

    Two stars. That's the best I can do on a book that came highly recommended and that I read with relish as I had just been to Amsterdam and surrounding areas, visited the Museum of the Resistance and the old Jewish Synagogue referred to in the book. So why two stars?

    I just didn't believe a lot of what I read. Here's what I do believe. I think Corrie, her sister Betsy, her father and other family members were courageous, passionate, religious, pro-active and bold. They did what many in Holland did, but what many chose not to do. They put their lives on the line to help with a very unpopular cause. They risked their necks to hide jews, feed them, comfort them and resist the authority of their German invaders. In that I find them commendable. The father figure was an admirable man, a man of principle who lived truly an exemplary life and imparted his teachings to not only his family, but all who surrounded him. A man of peace, but of strong determination. A man of immensely strong faith which he passed along to his children. So far, so good.

    So what's my squabble? The book was written a full 25 years after the facts, and I think it shows. Corrie was in her late 70's when the book was written, and it was written by two people who weren't there. The narrative at times becomes too convenient, too sugar coated. There were no fights amongst the throngs of people living in the beje. I think the old saying that "time heals everything" clearly applies to this book, as it seems to be a bit whitewashed in the veil of faith in Jesus to solve all, in prayers that constantly come through and in the miracle of the never ending vitamins. Call me a sceptic, but I found the constant references to Jesus annoying. I most certainly think we all believe in God when in the trenches, but I don't believe in the Santa Claus God who gave to Corrie, but perhaps withheld from others who were praying just as hard. It came across as preachy and childish all these years later. So many people were hurt, humiliated, beaten, and brutally murdered -- and I am sure just about each and every one of them prayed to their Jesus as well.

    To end on a positive note -- the faith that this family had, the true faith in doing the right thing -- is admirable; when Corrie wrote "released" in her jail cell to signify the death of (blank), she showed a deep and profound faith in that death is not the end, only a fresh start in a better place. Her fortitude and strength were truly remarkable.

  • Greta

    If you consider reading this book, be warned.

    When John and Elizabeth Sherrill wrote the memoir of Corrie ten Boom, they clearly had an agenda.

    The first half of the book was okay. That's the reason I gave it 2 and not 1 star.

    The second half, set during the war years and Corrie's imprisonment in Ravensbruck, was all about worshipping God and Jesus, praying, miracles and prophecies.

    Even for all the cruelties that happened, there was a higher divine plan.

    At some point, In Ravensbruck, they were

    If you consider reading this book, be warned.

    When John and Elizabeth Sherrill wrote the memoir of Corrie ten Boom, they clearly had an agenda.

    The first half of the book was okay. That's the reason I gave it 2 and not 1 star.

    The second half, set during the war years and Corrie's imprisonment in Ravensbruck, was all about worshipping God and Jesus, praying, miracles and prophecies.

    Even for all the cruelties that happened, there was a higher divine plan.

    At some point, In Ravensbruck, they were thanking god for being naked (in front of SS guards) because Jesus was naked on his cross too. And they thanked god for the fleas and the lice, so the guards wouldn't enter the barracks and they could read the bible and worship god. Obviously they were ignorant of the diseases caused by the vermin.

    There was also a miraculous, never ending bottle of vitamins, that was allegedly smuggled into the camp by Corrie, together with her bible.

    The authors made saints of Corrie and Betsie, instead of writing a believable memoir.

    And in the appendix to the book, you can put this book to work in your own life.

    I can only recommend this to deeply devout people.

    There are over 7.000 reviews of this book and I have never seen that much 5 star ratings. But only a handful of reviewers understood the ultimate purpose of the book :

    "it's rather insulting to the millions of Jews and others who died that fervent prayer to Jesus is all that was necessary to avoid death" ; "made me feel the tone was rather subtly supremist"

    "Just one of many examples of how this book turns a story about World War II into a platform for evangelical tripe."

    "The unspoken theme is that they were saved because they were Christian, unlike the Jews. This is definitely the Disney version of WWII."

    "Its problem is that throughout it pushes religion. Honestly, when an author expects me, as a reader, to actually believe that any religious doctrine is the truth I feel like my intelligence is being insulted and it is downright offensive."

    "it seems to be a bit whitewashed in the veil of faith in Jesus to solve all, in prayers that constantly come through and in the miracle of the never ending vitamins. Call me a sceptic, but I found the constant references to Jesus annoying."

    4/10

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