Corrie ten Boom, Hero of the Holocaust
Concentration camp survivor and author who preached forgiveness
Cornelia "Corrie" ten Boom grew up in a devoutly religious family. During World War II, she and her family harboured hundreds of Jews to protect them from arrest by Nazi authorities. Betrayed by a fellow Dutch citizen, the entire family was imprisoned. Corrie survived and started a worldwide ministry and later told her story in a book entitled The Hiding Place.
Cornelia Arnolda Johanna "Corrie" ten Boom (April 15, 1892 – April 15, 1983) was a Holocaust survivor who started a rehabilitation centre for concentration camp survivors as well as a global ministry to preach the power of forgiveness.
Corrie ten Boom was one of the most godly, inspiring individuals that many of us have ever read words from. Her deep wisdom came with the cost of journeying through tremendous pain in this life, yet even today, she has left us with amazing nuggets of truth from her experiences. Evidence that God still uses all we walk through in this world for greater purposes and good, more than we could possibly ever imagine.
Corrie spent the first 50 years of her life living peacefully with her father and sister above their watch shop in Haarlem, Holland. But when World War II broke out, this Dutch Christian family knew they had to offer help to those being persecuted. They began providing "hiding places" for Jewish people and Dutch resistance fighters in their home, helping many to escape the Nazi Holocaust.
God brought incredible beauty and healing through her difficult experiences. Her words and stories continue to have great relevance and impact in our world today.
In 1946 at the age of 53, Corrie started a worldwide ministry that took her to more than 60 countries over the next 33 years, and gave her the opportunity to share God’s love and hope with many people. She wrote many books, but her 1971 best-selling book The Hiding Place was made into a movie by World Wide Pictures in 1975, starring Jeannette Clift George in the role of Corrie.
From the time she was released from Ravensbruck until illness ended her ministry, Corrie ten Boom reached millions of people throughout the world with the message of the gospel. The Hiding Place remains a popular and impactful book, and Corrie ten Boom's teachings on forgiveness continue to resonate. Her family home in the Netherlands is now a museum dedicated to remembering the Holocaust.
Queen Julianna of the Netherlands made Corrie ten Boom a knight in 1962. In 1968, she was asked to plant a tree at the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations, at the Holocaust Memorial in Israel. Gordon College in the United States awarded her an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters in 1976.
As her health deteriorated, Corrie settled in Placentia, California in 1977. She received resident alien status but curtailed her travel after pacemaker surgery. The next year she suffered the first of several strokes, which reduced her ability to talk and get around by herself. Corrie ten Boom died on her 91st birthday, April 15, 1983. She was buried at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, California.
Corrie ten Boom’s amazing life and journey remind us even today how to live strong and love well through the hope and freedom of Christ. May we press on in that rich wisdom, moving forward with the same forgiving, inspiring spirit that typified this courageous soul.
In her very own words, “We have nothing to fear because Jesus is Victor, and He will never let us down. With Jesus, even in our darkest moments, the best remains. And the very best is yet to be.”