WWII Heroine Corrie ten Boom Impacts New Generation

By   •   April 15, 2010

Corrie Ten Boom and Billy Graham
Corrie ten Boom and Billy Graham at the premier of The Hiding Place.

In the Jewish tradition, it is said that only very blessed people are allowed the privilege of dying on their birthday. Such is the case for Corrie ten Boom, who died on her 91st birthday—April 15, 1983.

The youngest of four children, Corrie ten Boom was born on April 15, 1892, near Haarlem in the Netherlands. Her father, Casper ten Boom, was a well-liked watch repairman, and often referred to as “Haarlem’s Grand Old Man.”

During the Second World War, the ten Boom home became a refuge and a hiding place for fugitives and those hunted by the Nazis. By protecting these people, Casper and his daughters, Corrie and Betsie, risked their lives. Arrested and put into a concentration camp themselves, the ten Boom family members clung to their faith in Christ during their ordeal.

The true story of the family’s plight is told in The Hiding Place, the most popular film produced by World Wide Pictures—the motion-picture ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

>>Photos: A Look Back at The Hiding Place

In his autobiography, Just As I Am, Billy Graham talked about Corrie and the film: “Corrie is one of the great Christian heroines of the century. We met her in Switzerland, and her story made such an impression on Ruth that she recommended it to writers John and Elizabeth Sherrill. They jumped at it; and the book and film that followed brought home the horror of those days and the triumph of Christ’s love in the midst of virulent hatred.”

Graham went on to share an incident from the film’s 1975 world premiere at the Beverly Theater in Los Angeles. “Shortly before the film was to start,” he wrote, “someone threw a tear-gas canister into the theater, forcing the crowd to evacuate. The showing had to be postponed. We held an impromptu street meeting out in front while the police and fire departments attempted to find out what had happened. I spoke to the crowd and prayed.”

At a reception later that evening, ten Boom spoke in her distinctive Dutch accent: “People asked me tonight, ‘What did you feel about this [tear-gas] bomb that was falling?’ I was touched. I was sad. Do you know why? Not only because there was in some way disappointment for people who had hoped to see the film but because on that bomb was the Hakenkreuz, the [Nazi] swastika.

“What we have to do,” said ten Boom, “is love these people who hate us—love them, pray for them. These people are wounded people who have hate in their hearts. They need forgiveness. They need the Lord. That is the answer we must give.”

>>Order The Hiding Place and its recently-produced sequel, Return to the Hiding Place

In God’s providence, said Graham, the furor over the tear-gas canister created enormous interest in the film. “It premiered the following night without incident and has become the most widely seen motion picture we’ve ever produced.”

Having undergone extensive frame-by-frame restoration and remastered audio, The Hiding Place is available on DVD, featuring behind-the-scenes footage of ten Boom and three other shorts featuring the prison-camp survivor.

“There is one notable single woman in Christianity who really impacted me,” says 22-year-old Marina. “God blessed Corrie ten Boom with the vision of reaching out for the most hopeless people all over the world and introduce to them the love of God in Jesus Christ.”

“I fell in love with Corrie Ten Boom and her Christian spirit a year ago when I saw the film, The Hiding Place. She is certainly an inspiration for youth today too,” says 19-year-old Chris.

Do you know how much God loves you? Find out right now.

Billy Graham and Corrie ten Boom
“Corrie is one of the great Christian heroines of the century,” Billy Graham once said of Corrie ten Boom.


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  1. Rick says:

    I learned about CorrieTen Boom through my mother. I visited the Ten Boom Museum in Haarlem with my mother in 2000. It was especially good for my mother to relate the story of The Hiding Place to the town of Haarlem and to also visit St Bavo’s church. Unfortunately at the time I was merely accompanying my mother and did not really appreciate Corrie’s story. Since then I have watched the 1975 film and read the book of The Hiding Place. One scene in the film has a pregnant girl wondering aloud to Corrie how anyone can love God in Ravensbrück. Corrie’s reply is “There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still!” The girl then realises that she loves Corrie and tells her so. Although that scene is not in the book, it explains Corrie’s faith.

  2. Lee says:

    My mother was from the generation of Corrie, read her books and had a deep love for her. In my early 20’s, I lived for a year in Holland and made several trips back over the next 40 yrs. Many times my mom would ask me if I had the opportunity to visit the Ten Boom Museum. In 2009,, several years after my mothers death, I finally got to see the Museum. As I sat in the Living Room I thought of my mother and wished she would know that i finally was there. After the tour a young Russian tourist sat to play at the piano in the main room. Without requesting, his fingers traveled up and down those keys playing my mothers favorite hymn HOW GREAT THOU ART, her way of telling me she knew. I felt that Greater Power in that home that day!!

  3. Alonzo E Hartshorn says:

    I’ve read some of her books. I have at times prayed for some Corrie Ten Boom Faith. Without a dime to her name, if God told her to go to another country, she would go straight to the airport! Praise God!

  4. Ray Ortiz says:

    My wife Sarah and I visited Haarlem in 2005. The whole experience was surreal, especially when we thought about riding on the train, the very same tracks used by the Nazis and probably relocating Jews from the Netherlands. Only time separated us from these horrible events in history. Amazing believers!!!

  5. Kezia says:

    god gave me the privilege to read this book and have no words to explain the suffering they, both jews and the ten boom family went.Its an amazing book sharing the tue chistian love …evey christian must read it

  6. Audrey says:

    Shes so inspiring! She gave thanks to the FLEES. the flees you guys. who is thankful for flees? Well. Corrie was because they kept the guards away– giving them opportunity to witness more. crazy stuff.

  7. Conrad says:

    In 1995 we visited Holland and went to Haarlem. There were signs at the train station pointing to Corrietenboomhus (Probably misspelled) so we were able to visit THE Hiding Place. Great joy and much sadness in that visit.

  8. Elaine says:

    Thank you Lord for the life and work of Corrie and her family and please teach me to forgive

  9. Ine says:

    Praise the Lord for His grace for the family Ten Boom

  10. i havge no first name , says:

    i met Corrie ten boom in high School in 1978 when she was doing a nationwide movie tour , she seemed like a nice person i am glad i had met her . if i remember she gave a short speech after the movie , i remember her . sincerely just-jeff