Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Hiding Place(book).

 This is a sad yet true autobiography of the life of a young woman, Corrie ten Boom, who went through the terrors of the Holocaust, but by the Lords grace, makes it out alive from the concentration camps to tell her story to thousands.
It's a great read, but some parts are not recommended for younger children.

Corrie Ten Boom grew up in Haarlem, Holland, with two sisters and one brother. The Hiding Place opens in 1937 with the family celebrating the 100th birthday of the family watch shop. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, who are in their 40s and 50s, are both unmarried and live at home with their father, who is a renowned watchmaker. Ten Boom uses the party as a way to share details of the family's life. The first chapter ends with Corrie thinking about her childhood. She says, "Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do" (17). This provides a segue to the next few chapters, which recall Ten Boom's early years.
Although the main action of the book is the family's work and imprisonment during World War II, the first several chapters are also a delight to read. The Ten Boom family lived devout lives, always caring and considering others. Father, especially, is shown to be very wise. Their story is inspirational and interesting, and readers will later see how the memories connect with the family's choices during World War II.
The middle of the book details the family's activities after Holland is invaded by Germany. They slowly become involved in the underground, and soon find themselves at the center of a vast network with countless contacts. Eventually, they take in several Jews and build a hidden room in their house. They know the work is dangerous, and have premonitions of how it might end, but still they carry on.
Eventually the home is raided and Corrie's family is arrested. The rest of the book details their time in prison and in a concentration camp in Germany. They did not all survive, but even at the darkest times, the family kept their faith and hope alive.
For those who are Christians, The Hiding Place is a story that can strengthen one's faith. For those who are not, this is still a piece of history that is worth adding to your library of Holocaust literature.

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