Boom, Corrie ten with Sherrill, John and Elizabeth "The Hiding Place. The Triumphant Story of Corrie Ten Boom" (De Schuilplaats) - 1972
If you have read Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl", you should also read this book. It's the story of a family who was hiding people like the Frank family and what happened to them.
How someone can watch these atrocities - both on the side of the enemy and of those of your own people - and still stay so positive, believe there is a meaning to all this ... that's beyond me. I am grateful that these kind of people exist and would hope that I'd react the same way when I would have to make the decision.
In any case, the ten Boom family was part of the Dutch Underground. They hid anyone who needed help, mostly Jews, and helped them leaving the country.
I especially liked the father who was such a model for his family. Here is a quote that shows it all:
"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.'"
Another quote I would like to talk about:
"Strangely enough, it was not the Germans or the Japanese that people had most trouble forgiving; it was their fellow Dutchmen who had sided with the enemy."
I do understand that. A lot of the Germans or Japanese had no choice but these people had betrayed their own. Mind you, after having lived in the Netherlands for almost nineteen years now, I disagree that they were all so forgiving of the Germans, there are plenty around who still haven't forgotten.
It was quite interesting to see how they built the hiding place, how they managed to put another room into a house without anyone noticing.
Granted, the book is quite religious, Corrie ten Boom and her family were Calvinists and belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church which was very strict and very conservative. But that was part of their reason for doing what they did. In any case, the book is totally worth reading.
From the back cover:
"Corrie ten Boom stood naked with her older sister Betsie, watching a concentration camp matron beating a prisoner.' Oh, the poor woman,' Corrie cried. 'Yes. May God forgive her,' Betsie replied. And, once again, Corrie realized that it was for the souls of the brutal Nazi guards that her sister prayed. Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. A story of Christ's message and the courageous woman who listened and lived to pass it along -- with joy and triumph!"