The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom is the story about the life of a woman in Holland during the German Nazi invasion and holocaust. Miss. Ten Boom tells about her childhood, helping people escape through the anti-Nazi underground, her arrest and imprisonment, and her release. As a child Miss. Ten Boom grew up in their family's watch shop with her mother, father, sisters, Nollie and Betsie, brother, Willem, and aunts, Tante Jan, Tante Anna, and Tante Bep. Her close-knit family was a very important part of her life.
They worked together to keep up the house and the shop. People would always be at their house to visit, needing a place to stay, or just to hear Father read the Bible. Through her brother she met Karel, with whom she fell in love. He was a schooled man, very intelligent and cunning.
Though he also had a love for Corrie, he would never court her, let alone marry her. His family arranged his marriage with a woman that had a large dowry. The rejection hurt Corrie at that young age but was soon forgotten and placed behind her. Her family was always known for helping people less fortunate.
In a person's time of need, her mother always took food and a warm smile to help. Whenever a child was homeless, they could always go to the Beje for shelter. It was not a surprise, then, when Corrie and the rest of her family got involved with the anti-Nazi underground.
She had been noticing that everything in her little town was changing. There were police stationed everywhere and a curfew was being set. The Germans were beginning to take control. Corrie had found out from her brother, Willem, that there were Jewish people needing a place to stay. The family decided to open the Beje to take people in, mostly until they found them a new home. Corrie found a man inside the German government to get food ration cards so they the people could eat. She also found most of the people places to stay. There were a few people that the borders would not take in, for many different reasons.
Those people had the Beje as a home. There was always a threat of the German officers making a surprise inspection of their home, so the heads of the underground installed a secret room in their house. Corrie had the permanent and temporary residents perform drills so that they could get to the room quickly so that no one would know that they were ever there. One day, while Corrie was sick in bed, the German officers came to arrest her and her family members out of suspicion that they were working with the underground. Luckily everyone staying at the Beje was able to get into the secret room before the Gestapo was able to reach the top of the house. Though none of the Jews were found, Corrie and her family were still arrested and taken to a holding place. There started the long progression through the horrors of prison and the concentration camps. After spending a few days in the holding place they were taken to Scheveningen, a prison in another part of the country.
All of the women were put in holding cells away from the people that they knew and loved. Being that Corrie was sick, she did not stay in the crowded cells very long. Quickly she was moved to an isolated cell where she could recover from her illness. One day she learned that Nollie and Willem had been released but she got the bad news that her father had passed away after ten days in prison. Soon after she got this news, Nollie sent her a package with some supplies and a few little bibles.
Corrie was excited to see these things. As Corrie began to get better she was scheduled to have her hearing to see if she could get out of prison. While in her meeting she met Lieutenant Rahms. He seemed like a very sympathetic man with a soft heart. During this hard time he made her feel comfortable. He wanted to help Corrie and he knew he couldn't get her out of the prison. After a few talks with her he learned how much her family meant to her.
He had her family come to the prison to have the will of their father read. This helped Corrie and Betsie, who was also still in prison, not think about their dismal surroundings. A few days after that meeting the prisoners were awakened and told to pack their pillowcases.
Some were excited hoping that the war was over and they were going home. Others were worried they were going to go to an even more wretched place than where they were. Those excited people were very mistaken. As they marched out of the prison they were led into small box cars. There they looked for people they knew or were related to. Corrie soon found Betsie. They knew that they would be fine now that they were together. They cramped themselves into the train cars with many other women.
Everyone carefully found a place where the could sit. The trip was long and soon got foul smelling. Everyone had the same thought in mind…
where would they end up?? Everyone hoped, wished, and prayed not Germany, this time they were lucky, they were going Brabant. Overhead they heard.