..the hiding place..

Okay for those of you that have followed my blog for a while and before I closed down the main part, already know this, those that are are new comers to my blog.. well.. I love to read.

That sounds relatively simple but it’ s my favorite thing, and for as many years as I can remember back I always have something on the go. (and in fact when you see there is a very good chance I have an actual book somewhere on my person..)

I am reading three things, the first is static, I read it everyday. I love to pray the Divine Office, The second is becoming nearly as static I have been reading the texts of the school of community, and lastly. .. something for fun!

For fun this week is,

The Hiding Place. Written by Corrie ten Boom. Well it’s a biography of her life.

Here is the synopsis taken from wikipedia

The book opens in 1938, with the ten Boom family celebrating the 100th anniversary of the family watch and watch repair business, now run by the family’s elderly father, Casper. The business took up the ground floor of the family home (known as the Beje). Casper lived with his unmarried daughters Corrie (the narrator and a watchmaker herself) and Betsie, who took care of the house. It seemed as if everyone in the Dutch town of Haarlem had shown up to the party, including Corrie’s sister Nollie, her brother, Willem, and her nephews Peter and Kik. Willem, a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church brought a Jewish man, who had just escaped from Germany, as a guest. The man’s beard had been burned off by some thugs, a grim reminder of what was happening just to the east of Holland.

In the next few chapters, Corrie talks about her childhood, her infirm but glad-hearted mother, and the three aunts who once lived in the Beje. She talks about the only man she ever loved, a young man named Karel, who ultimately married a woman from a rich family.

Eventually, both Nollie and Willem married. After the deaths of Corrie’s mother and aunts, Corrie, Betsie, and their father settled down into a pleasant,domestic life. Then, in 1940, the Nazis invaded Holland.

Due to the family’s strong Christian beliefs, they felt obligated to help their Jewish friends in every way possible. The Beje soon became the center for a major anti-Nazi operation. Corrie, who had grown to think of herself as a middle-aged spinster, found herself involved in black market operations, stealing ration cards, and eventually, hiding Jews in her own home.

Corrie suffered a moral crisis over this work; not from helping the Jews, but from what she had to do to accomplish this: lying, theft, forgery, bribery, and even arranging a robbery. The Dutch underground arranged for a secret room to be built in the Beje, so the Jews would have a place to hide in the event of the inevitable raid.

When a man asked Corrie to help his wife, who had been arrested, Corrie agreed, but with misgivings. As it turned out, the man was a spy, and the watch shop was raided. The entire ten Boom family was arrested, along with the shop employees, though the Jews managed to hide themselves in the secret room.

Casper was well into his eighties by this time, and a Nazi official offered to let him go, provided he made no more trouble. Casper could not agree to this, and was shipped to prison. It is later learned he died shortly after.

Corrie was sent to Scheveningen, a Dutch prison which was used by the Nazis for political prisoners, nicknamed ‘Oranjehotel’–a hotel for people loyal to the House of Orange. She later learned her sister was being held in another cell, and that, aside from her father, all other family members and friends had been released. A coded letter from Nollie revealed that the hidden Jews were safe. Corrie befriended a depressed Nazi officer, who arranged a brief meeting with her family, under the pretense of reading Casper’s will. She was horrified to see how ill Willem was, as he had contracted jaundice in prison. He would eventually die from his illnesses in 1946. Corrie also learned that her nephew, Kik, had been captured while working with the Dutch underground. He had been killed, though the family did not learn of this until 1953.

After four months at Scheveningen, Corrie and Betsie were transferred to Vught, a Dutch concentration camp for political prisoners. Corrie was assigned to a factory that made radios for aircraft. The work was not hard, and the prisoner-foreman, Mr. Moorman, was kind. Betsie, whose health was starting to fail, was sent to work sewing prison uniforms.

When a counter-offensive against the Nazis seemed imminent, the prisoners were shipped by train to Germany, where they were imprisoned at Ravensbrück, a notorious women’s concentration camp. The conditions there were hellish; both Corrie and Betsie were forced to perform back-breaking manual labor. It was there that Betsie’s health failed and she died. Corrie was later released, due to what later proved a clerical error. Though she was forced to stay in a hospital barracks while recovering from edema, Corrie arrived back in Holland by January 1945.

Throughout the ordeal, Corrie was amazed at her sister’s faith. In every camp, the sisters used a hidden Bible to teach their fellow prisoners about Jesus. In Ravensbrück, where there was only hatred and misery, Corrie found it hard to look to Heaven. Betsie, however, showed a universal love for everyone. Not only for the prisoners, but, amazingly for the Nazis. Instead of feeling anger, she pitied the Germans, sorrowful that they were so blinded by hatred. She yearned to show them the love of Christ, but died before the war was over.

After the war, Corrie began to put her sister’s dream into action. Using the Beje, along with a donated mansion, and even an old concentration camp, Corrie began ministering to those hurt by the war–Dutch and German alike. Corrie’s own faith was put to the test, when, after preaching in Germany, she met a former guard who humiliated her sister. It is then she decided that God’s love can conquer all.

If I had to pick a genre of books it would be a toss up  between, historical humanitarian, classic fiction ( I love Bronte and Dickens) or Mythical Fiction.. LOL Yes I have read both Harry Potter and the Twilight series..  Oh come on, don’t laugh that to me is brain candy. Useless yes but oh so fun while it lasts. Actually I can’t exactly compare Harry Potter to Twilight, because the Harry Potter Series actually is literary genius. Her books are so well thought out and creative I haven’t come across anything as creative yet. It’s seven books that create one story, and the finale was perfect. I did like Twilight, but I loved the Potter series.

Okay enough of that, I am recommending today the Hiding Place. A definite to do on your reading list.


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