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Wednesday’ s Wise Woman … Corrie ten Boom

February 27, 2013
From Peaceful heroes by Jonah Winter illustrated by Sean Addy

From Peaceful heroes by Jonah Winter illustrated by Sean Addy

Cornelia ‘Corrie’ ten Boom (1892-1983) was born in the Netherlands where in 1940 Corrie’s home town was to become part of Hitler’s cleansing plan.  Hitler believed that Germanic peoples or the Aryans were the master race and should rule the world.  He believed that Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and other minorities were not even human and that he was going tp ‘cleanse’ the world of them. To this end they were humiliated, rounded up, imprisoned, tortured and then murdered.
Corrie’s family who were Christians; watched helplessly as their friends, at the hands of the Nazis, were being degraded and taken away never to be seen again.
However, Corrie’s family already actively involved in charitable works soon undertook to rescue Jews from harm and the threat of concentration camps. Their home became a hideaway for Jews. It soon became necessary for the ten Boom’s to make a secret room, in case of the inevitable raid.  Corrie’s bedroom, in the upper reaches of the house was the ideal place.  Bricks and other building materials were bought in secretly in briefcases and rolled newspapers. The room no bigger than a closet was hidden behind a bookcase.  An electric buzzer was installed so that a warning could be sounded in the event of a raid.
On the night of the dreaded raid the six people hiding were not discovered. Sadly the family were arrested and sent to different German prisons and concentration camps. Her mother had died before the arrest but Corrie’s father and sister died in a camp.
Corrie did live to tell her story in The hiding place.  It is said that even ‘during her darkest moments in the Ravensbruck concentration camp she never stopped trying to remember the human capacity to love other people, even those who hate and would kill you. This she claims, and luck, kept her alive, kept her from giving up’.

From Peaceful heroes by Jonah Winter illustrated by Sean Addy

From Peaceful heroes by Jonah Winter illustrated by Sean Addy

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Further reading Peaceful heroes by Jonah Winter illustrated by Sean Addy.

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