Corrie Ten Boom
’s The Hiding Place Essay, Research Paper
Corrie ten Boom recounts her horrific tale of her experiences during World War II in Holland, in her novel, The Hiding Place. The real life nightmare begins with the 100th anniversary of her families watch shop. From the first paragraph it is evident that ten Boom is a warm hearted, kind individual who puts her own needs behind those of her friends and family. The entire novel consists of ten Boom putting herself last when it comes to her priorities. The way she expresses her love towards her family it is evident she respects and loves her family more than anything else in the world. Throughout the entire novel, she s risking her life to help others. In this way she respects her life and the lives of those around her. She is willing to do what it takes to make sure that no one is mistreated. Her faith in God allows her to live through these heartbreaking events. The beliefs that she is following in God s plan enables her to be so brave and strong while painfully watching her world fall apart. Ten Boom incorporates individual and society into her everyday life. She is conscious of those around her to the point where she acts to correct situations, which she s unhappy with. The novel begins with ten Boom s pleasant account of her life. She s happy unmarried and living with her family. She lives to make those around her happy. This trait is also found in her family. Many of their customers are treated as close personal friends, which many of them are. She s very pleasant and loves life. The reader of the book begins to feel as if they re part of the family. The ambiance of the house makes everyone and anyone feel welcome. Ten Boom makes the decision to hide Jews who are in danger of being taken to concentration camps, and harassed by the Nazi s well aware of the fact that she could easily loose her own life. This in itself is an example of her deep respect for human life. She puts her own as well as her family s lives in danger to save the lives of Jews who are under persecution of the Nazi s. She is a heroine for the Jews she s helping. Due to her position in the community, people coming in and out of her house, well watch shop, was not rare. It was a common sight, which allowed attention to the many visitors she had to be ignored. She was in a perfect situation to help Jews during their persecution. It starts off she s only going to take in a few, but slowly more and more are residing in her house. The life of the entire family is altered to accommodate the Jews she s protecting from the Nazi s. The sacrifices ten Boom and her family make are remarkable. Living everyday praying that the secret dwellers be not discovered. Not many people would be willing to put themselves in that situation under the circumstances. Human life is incredibly important to her, and she does what she can to preserve it. She values the lives of these Jews, although strangers, too much to watch them suffer. In turn, she s putting herself at great danger every minute. When her home is being searched by the Nazi s, in search for Jews, she never begins to second-guess her decision. She knows what she s doing is right, and that s all that matters to her. The decision to hide Jews in her own home comes when the families that she is filtering Jews to cannot hide anymore. She takes it upon herself to protect these people. Her brother and sister, Nollie help her and hide Jews herself. Nollie refuses to lie. God is important in her life too and chooses not to lie, but help the Jews at the same time. When the Nazi s ask Nollie if there are Jews hiding in the house, she replies yes, the fear of the entire household is not enough for the Nazi s to believe and search the house. Nollie sticks by her position and does not lie to protect the safety of herself of the Jews in hiding, but nothing happens to them. This has to do with their faith. They are doing the work of God and God in turn is protecting them.
While ten Boom is hiding Jews in her home, she further endangers her life by visiting Pickwick and all the Mr. and Mrs. Smit s at his home. She broke the curfew set by the Nazi s to meet with other people that were hiding Jews to learn information on how to maintain the safety of her entire household. This is another example of how she goes out of her way to ensure the rights of other people. When she became involved with the hiding of Jews she knew what she was doing was dangerous, but it never effected her behavior. Her compassion for human life is clear through her actions. She has surrounded herself and is working with people who feel as strongly as she does. All these people have tremendous faith and reason for what they are doing.Another reason why ten Boom is so respectable is that she never asks for anything in return. She doesn t do these things for recognition. Often times people do things simply for the congratulations that will follow their actions. There is nothing selfish in her acts, she feels strongly that what s going on around her is wrong and she takes action. She doesn t sit back and let things happen. She endangers her entire family for the benefit of others. She does this because she feels it is God s plan. God s plan that preserves the rights of every human. God is a major part of ten Boom s life. She is full of faith, and gets through the entire situation trusting God s judgement. Her faith is so strong that she knows despite what happens it is for the best. She does not bow down to authority and put her beliefs to the side. Ten Boom does the same while in prison and is being questioned by a lieutenant. In a way, ten Boom was on trial by her accuser. She stands up for herself. Not only does she stand up for herself in the sense that she does not apologize for her beliefs, but she defends others as well. He has the stereotypical mindset of a Nazi. He believes that someone who does not have traits such as him is unimportant to society. Ten Boom feels differently. She feels that it is up to God to decide who is worth to live. Mouthing off and being although honest, but direct with the lieutenant was very dangerous. That alone could have ended her life. But, her faith is strong enough to stand behind what she believes. The lieutenant becomes intrigued with her passion and continues to speak with her on a daily basis. Her faith keeps her sane during her prison stay. It could have been much worse and ten Boom knows that and thanks God for helping her through this difficult situation. Ten Boom s passion for life and God is very commendable to me. I wish I had the passion that she did regarding her faith. For a while I was very religious and believed I could do anything with the guidance of God. Somewhere along the line, I lost that. I m slowly working to get it back. I believe the only reason she survives is because of her faith. God is important to her as it is to me. I traveled to Medjugorje to visit a visionary sight of the Blessed Mother in Bosnia. After visiting this spectacular place I was a different person. I feel that God was the reason for that. I needed help and I was given it. Lately with all my medical problems I ve put my life in the hands of God. I have had so much work to make up and battling with depression. Every night I pray to God asking him to help me get through this. I haven t found anyone who can do everything on their own. I used to think I could, but came to the devastating realization that I need help. The help I need comes from God. Ten Boom used God as a security blanket, which I m trying my best to do right now. If I can obtain half the passion that ten Boom had throughout the entire novel I would be proud of myself. I think that ten Boom should be commended and respected for her actions during the war. She did what she felt needed to be done and relied on God to help her do it and stay safe. She was a real life heroine.