Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Ten Boom Family

The members of the ten Boom family were devout members of the Reformed Church of Holland. They owned a watch shop and were very respected by their community. As early as the thirties, the ten Booms were already sympathetic for the Jews. Wilhelm ten Boom, a minister, was the first member of the family to help the Jews.

Living in the floor above the watch shop were Casper ten Boom, a widower, and his two daughters Corrie and Betsie. Their first Jewish fugitive was a Mrs. Kleermaker. Mr ten Boom welcomed her, saying, “In this household, God’s people are always welcome.” Two nights later, a Jewish couple knocked on the door of the ten Boom residence, and they were accepted. All in all, the ten Booms had seven Jewish guests and others who resided for only a short matter of time. In order to protect the Jewish refugees just in case of a raid, the ten Booms hired a famous architect to design a secret room and a warning buzzer. At the sound of the buzzer, the guests would all hide in the secret room.

One time, Nollie ten Boom, the wife of Wilhelm ten Boom, was caught with a blonde lady. She blurted out the truth, “She is a Jew.” Both of them were arrested. Corrie was in bed of flue at that time. One time, a spy went to the ten Booms asking for money from the ten Booms since, according to him, his wife was in prison for being a Jew. Corrie sent him to the bank with a note telling the bankers to give him money. A few minutes later, the Gestapo burst into their home and arrested the three ten Booms, but they never found the Jews hiding in the secret room. They all escaped, and six survived the war.

Nollie and Willem were released from prison, but not Casper, Corrie and Betsie. The women were sent to Ravensbruck, and Casper was sent to Schevingen, where he died at the age of eighty-four.

The two sisters found their strength in a hidden Bible. Through these, they would read the Bible to their fellow prisoners. Prisoners from other nationalities would translate them into their own languages. This was described as “little glimpses of heaven.”

One time, while they were digging and shovelling in the camp, Betsie became weak and coughed blood. The guard slashed her across the chest and neck with his crop. She told Corrie, “Don’t look, Corrie. Look at Jesus only.” Betsie gradually became weak. On her death bed, she told Corrie, “Corrie, people can still learn to love.”

Corrie was released a few days later. She later learned that her release was due to a clerical error. She survived for more than forty years after her liberation and told the people about their story.

6 Comments:

Blogger Julie said...

Nollie wasn't Wilhelm's wife but Corrie and Wilhelm's other sister...Casper Ten Boom had 3 daughters and 1 son

7:23 AM  
Blogger jan said...

Corrie's brother's name is spelled incorrectly. The correct spelling is Willem. This can be verified through reading The Hiding Place and noting the spelling of the name.

2:41 PM  
Blogger jan said...

Nollie's husband's name was Flip van Woerden. She is the only daughter of Casper and Cor ten Boom to marry and she had six children. Willem and his wife Tine had four children.

2:46 PM  
Blogger hops said...

nollie ten booms full name I Arnold Johanna (ten boom) van woerden. she married"flip" van woerden in 1919. casper and cornelias ten boom had four kids Elisabeth (betsie)(died in 1944),Arnold Johanna(nollie)(died in 1953), cornelia arnolda Johanna ten boom(corrie)(died in 1983), wilem, and hendrick ( died in infancy),wilem married tine and had 4 kids betsie and casper died in concentration camps.

12:07 PM  
Blogger hops said...

nollie ten booms full name I Arnold Johanna (ten boom) van woerden. she married"flip" van woerden in 1919. casper and cornelias ten boom had four kids Elisabeth (betsie)(died in 1944),Arnold Johanna(nollie)(died in 1953), cornelia arnolda Johanna ten boom(corrie)(died in 1983), wilem, and hendrick ( died in infancy),wilem married tine and had 4 kids betsie and casper died in concentration camps.

12:08 PM  
Blogger anonymous said...

get your facts straight before you write something and make it public please!!

12:48 AM  

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