Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The Hiding Place
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
(Summary taken from the back book cover) "Out of the evil called the Holocaust arose a witness, a voice that even the Nazis could not silence, a voice that testified to the power of God to overcome every wickedness and sorrow. Corrie ten Boom is that witness and her powerful story recounts the courage of one Christian family of Dutch watchmakers who determined to save Jews and resistance workers from the Gestapo forces which had overrun the Netherlands. As the pressure against the Jews grew, the risks increased and the ten Booms accelerated their efforts. The family transformed their quiet home into an underground station in the network of the Dutch Resistnace, creating a safe room that would shelter and feed scores of fugitives. For this, all the ten Booms were arrested, from Corrie's aging father to her young nephew, with Corrie and her sister Betsie ultimately deported to the Nazi death camp Ravensbruck. Through the slip of a pen, a clerical error, Corrie survived, though her family did not, and following the war, she began to tell her story of God's faithfulness and his mercy even in the darkest and deepest pit. The same faith that compelled the ten Boom family to stand firm in the face of evil would continue to shape Corrie's life as she bore witness to the great power of God's love to forgive, to heal, and to restore."
Miss ten Boom's story is amazing. How have I not read this before? Her voice is so real and sincere, and it draws you in. I've learned about the Holocaust, and I knew about the horrible death camps. I've even reviewed another survivor's story, but I had no idea that people other than Jews were sent to the death camps. Now that I think about it, it makes sense, but I'd never thought about it before. The courage and faith of the ten Boom family, and those they worked with, is just astounding. The things they went through, in order to help other people, were terrible, and yet they did not regret their decisions to help. Their faith in God stayed strong even in the worst of situations, and that is what is so impressive. To be grateful for fleas because they allowed them to speak more freely of God, without the guards' presence, is simply astonishing, and is such a good example to me.
I spent most of this book in awe of these women and their family. Over and over I asked myself if I would have had the courage to put myself in danger to help others. Over and over I asked if I could have had such a good attitude about such a horrible situation. And over and over I realized that their faith outweighed my own. I truly hope that I would do the same if the situation arose. I am such a rule follower that I hope my common sense and sense of justice and faith would allow me to go against the rules to help others. Not only this, but we have so much today. With my small problems, compared to theirs, can I find the best of each situation? Can I look for the good? Can I refrain from only seeing the negative in people? And, can I teach these things to my children? It's not usually the big things we are asked to do, it is the little things we do daily that matter.
This book is written so well. Miss ten Boom's narrative is easy to follow and each sentence is filled with emotion. It is difficult to read because of the topic and all that comes with it, but I think everyone should read this book. It is full of life lessons and I think we should all know these lessons from the past so we prevent them from happening in our future. I thank Miss ten Boom for her example and know that I am a little better today because of her and her family and their story.
Rated: PG-13+ (Almost an R) The Holocaust is not easy to read about. The dire circumstances in the camps are difficult to read about. There are deaths, sicknesses, and people treated with cruelty. The women are to stand without their clothing. She talks of the gas chambers. There is no language.
Recommendation: High School Senior and up. This would be a fabulous book for a senior history class to read. I highly recommend this book and think everyone should read it!