Thursday, June 4, 2009


Corrie Ten Boom

My sister Charlene is not an avid reader but is a selective reader. While I always have a book going, she is content to go for quality on occasion. She is my E F Hutton of books though. When she recommends, I listen. Where I cruise the best seller list, she often picks up the jewels from the past.

The last book she recommended before this one was The Good Earth, Pearl Bucks novel about early 1900 Chinese life. No, I had not read it in high school like most people and was completely enchanted by the book and the look inside a culture I had no knowledge of out side of Tienanmen Square and rice paddies. A truly wonderful book.

The other day when she called, she asked if I had read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Again a negative on my behalf. So trusting Sis, I went to the library to check it out. It was a small book and so old the pages were yellow but I headed for the librarian with it. The lady behind me looked over my shoulder and said,"Marvelous book." The librarian nodded and agreed. "Oldie but a goody." she said. It now had three recommendations.

The book is a true story set in Holland from World War I through WW II. Visiting the blog of Reader Wil from Holland has stimulated an interest in that small country of beautiful flowers and peaceful people. At first the story did not pulling me in but I stuck with it and very shortly, I could not put it down. I thought I knew a lot about WW II and the work camps but this is a part I knew nothing about.

All of the books I had read were based on the death camps and the extermination of the Jews which always horrifies the mind. Our county has been so lucky not to have a foreign group tramping through our streets, making us bend to their will. Unless of course, you remember the American Indian. A not pretty chapter in our history where we were the invaders. However, regarding WW II, I had read nothing about the Christians who were also brutalized.

Corrie and her family are Christians who risk everything setting up safe havens to save Jews who were fleeing the Germans occupiers. They had a successful underground going when they are caught. The whole family are picked up but most are released. Corrie and her sister Betsie are not and manage to stay together as they are sent to Ravensbruck which was a labor camp for women. The horrors and mistreatment are hard to comprehend in today's world.

This is a very spiritual book but will not turn off the non spiritual. It is a look into the hearts of those who must survive. Corrie was amazing but her sister deserves sainthood. Corrie is gone now but I have added her to my list of people I would love to spend the day with, living or dead.

What an amazing women and the book is so worth the read if you get a chance. It never hurts to be reminded what went on in those days so we never let it happen again.

Today is his surgery. I worry about the long operation and his advanced years. Thank you again so much for your support. It has helped more than you can know. The doctor will call me today and if all goes well, I can pick him up tomorrow. Won't feel relief till then. Thanks again. I felt your warmth.


  1. I had forgotten about Corrie Ten Boom until I responded to your visit on my birds blog. Thank you.

    She was something else in troubling times and there must have been countless others like her whose story we will never know.

    Our Flower Pot

  2. I will have to check out that book. Throughout my life I have been a sympathizer of the opressed, especially opression induced by political will.

    Before I found my roots I imagined being a Jew. Interestingly my main ethnicity is in the Cherokee, but, of course mixed. I will write about it sometime, especially my hair. :~)

    Luckie and I are awaiting good news for Mighty.

  3. I read The Good Earth several times. The author is from WV, so it seems to be required reading for us.

    I have not read Ten Boom, although I have been hearing her name for decades. Maybe I'll get this one.

  4. You are absolutely right about Corrie Ten Boom. She was amazing. I saw her once on TV when she told about the Sovjet Union at the time that The Bible was forbidden to be sold in The USSR. She went to her hotelroom, looked for the microphone in her room, then she sat herself in front of it and started to read a chapter of her bible out loud, so that everybody, listening had to hear it.
    There are also movies about her and her sister and the rest of her relatives. Very great post, Patti!

  5. I have never even heard of Corrie Ten Boom. I will definitely put her on my list of reads. I do have a bit of a hard time, though, reading books about the holocaust and work camps. I lost family there, so it is a time and place I make an effort to forget.

    Sending very good wishes and healing thoughts to your much-loved Mighty. Keep us posted, patti.

  6. Abe,
    She was amazing and you are right. There are so many stories out there that are untold.
    Glad you are doing your part.

    I guess finding your birth parent really helped the pieces to fall into place. Would love to hear about the Cherokee background.
    Thanks to you and Luckie for your thoughts. The waiting is killing me but hope I will have good news soon.

    Don't know how I missed Good Earth. Almost everyone I know had it as required reading.
    The Hiding Place is excellent but makes me realize I would probably not have survived.

    Reader wil,

    How lucky that you got to see a performance on TV of Corrie. I truly admire her and have ordered the movie from Netflix for later viewing. Too soon after reading the book fosters too much comparison.

    I was afraid it might hit too close to home for you but if you can, it is an excellent read.

    Am waiting impatiently for news of Mighty. He should be in surgery right now. Thank you so much for your support.

  7. "It was a small book and so old the pages were yellow..." Patti, that makes me feel the passage of time, for I read a copy of the book in my late teens, when the pages were white and had a spring to them! I too had more spring back then, worried less, and had more hair on my head! Thanks for the reminder of the book, I may seek it out again. Corrie was a terrific person who experienced the very worst that life could give, but learned the ability to forgive. (And I think that forgiveness is a gift that needs practice!)

    In NZ I have several Dutch friends, and those who went through the war years in Holland are still battered and scarred from their experiences.

    Often it is the everyday civilian's account of war that is the most moving. It usually paints a different and far sadder picture than that by film and mass media where war still ranks (appallingly) as "entertainment".

    Anyway, enough of the above from me for now, what I really want to send are hugs and best wishes to you and to Mighty. We are thinking of you here. P.

  8. Peter,
    Sorry about aging you like that. It was published in the 70's so lots of fingers have turned those pages.
    It was her forgiviness that so impressed me and her sister was just unbelievable with her ability to forgive.
    Mighty made it thru surgery and I should get him back tomorrow. Can't wait.
    Thanks to you and Laura for your caring.

  9. I read "The Hiding Place" many years ago--and also studied Corrie Ten boom. I had forgotten about it--so enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for the memories.

    Hope Mighty is going to be okay.
    Prayers and Hugs,

  10. Guess I was the last one to the table but I am glad I finally made it. Seems almost eveyone has all ready read her. For that I am pleased.
    Mighty comes home today, I hope. Surgery went well thanks to all the good thoughts around him. I am pretty sure it helped him but know it helped me. Thanks so much Betsy for caring.