CORRIE, THE WATCHMAKER'S DAUGHTER
Extra from Volume 10#2 by Aurelie and Virginie C.
The first part of this article was printed in Volume 10#2 of KBR.
Corrie grew up in the strong Christian faith that her parents shared. Corrie had a deep love for the Savior, and as a little girl she was convinced that Jesus was a member of the ten Boom family. 'It was so easy to talk to Him as I would do with Mother or Father, Jesus was just always there!’
She had one brother and two sisters who married in later years. Corrie and her sister Betsie were both single and were involved in many social events.Corrie loved to work with handicapped children and spent many hours telling them all about Jesus and His endless love for them. She also was the leader of a Christian girl’s club in Haarlem. Corrie loved people. Corrie worked alongside her father in the shop and Betsie managed the household duties.
The ten Booms dedicated their lives in Christian service to their fellow men.Their home was ‘an open house’ for anyone in need of help.They had a great and deep love for the Jewish people and her grandfather had established an hour of prayer with friends each week to pray for the Jews and for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).
Their peaceful lives were soon disturbed by the Second World War…Their home became a refuge for fugitives and hunted people who were sought by the Nazis. Father Casper and his daughters often risked their lifes to help the Jews in need. They started to hid Jews, students who refused to cooperate with the enemy, and members of the Dutch ‘underground’ resistance movement. Their house accommodated these refugees until it was ‘safe’ to smuggle them to other families. In this way, their house became a center of underground activities with a network of contacts. The ten Booms and their friends saved hundreds of lives; they also made a hiding place in Corrie’s room, which was perfect for the purpose of hiding refuges. They smuggled bricks and cement and all the necesssary material into the house to make a hiding place behind the false wall in Corrie’s room. that way the Nazi’s wouldn’t easily discover the hiders. Then came that dreadful day: February 28,1944.
Corrie was sick and lay in bed with the flu. Suddenly the six people that were staying in their home rushed into her room and ran into the hiding place.The family had been betrayed and the Gestapo, the Nazi’s secret police, raided the house. Six members of the family were arrested. During the next several hours about thirty friends who came to their house, unaware of the betrayal, were also arrested and taken to prison. The Gestapo did not, however, discover the four Jews and two members of the Resistance who were in the hiding place. The Gestapo was convinced that there were Jews hiding in the house, but since they couldn’t find them, they hoped to starve them until they surrendered. Fortunately,the Resistance liberated the six hiders after they had been in the narrow hidingplace for two-and-a-half days.
Corrie, Betsie, father Casper and other family members were soon separated from each other and send to concentration camps. Father Casper died 10 days after the betrayal. He was finally ‘free.’
Corrie and Betsie clung to their Lord and Saviour during these trying times. They had a living hope that Jesus would stand by their side no matter what happened. "The Lord is on my side,I shall not fear." (Psalm 118:6) They were both send to the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany. They lived with thousands of other women in terrible conditions, but Corrie and Betsie saw the wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with their fellowprisoners, by telling them that Jesus could save them and by reading the Bible aloud when there were no guards around. God let Corrie smuggle a small New Testament into the camp and they cared for this priceless treasure.
Betsie’s health grew worse and worse in the horrid conditions. A few days before she died, she had a dream and told Corrie what God wanted them to do when they were released. Betsie said she had seen a beautiful and big house in Holland, where survivors of their country could find spititual healing of the wounds that were caused in their lives from that terrible war. And she saw a concentration camp that they would turn into a place were German people could heal. Betsie said that she and Corrie needed to bring the Good News to all the people around the world.
A few days after her beloved sister Betsie died, Corrie was released. In the thirty-two years that followed, she visited sixty-four countries to testify of God’s love. Corrie encouraged all the people she met with the message that Jesus Christ is Victor over and everything, even misery of the concentration camp. She told people to love their enemies and to forgive those who wronged you and to believe in Jesus Christ. 'Not a pit is so deep as He is deeper still!'