Ordinary people achieving the extraordinary will always be a popular topic. However, it is increasingly rare to find an example of selflessness quite like that of Corrie Ten Boom and her family, and why it is such an honor to be a part of the process of bringing her story to the stage. The bravery, kindness, and most importantly, forgiveness, exhibited by these people is truly awe-inspiring. Some of the information I’ve found, just through routine research has literally left me speechless (an almost impossible feat. Many have tried, and failed). It’s my pleasure to share some points of interest about Ms. Ten Boom and her amazing family who risked, or lost, their lives for merely doing what came naturally to them. Actually, it can best be explained by Corrie herself when describing her father, Casper: “That was Father’s secret: not that he overlooked the differences in people; that he didn’t know they were there.”
And now, random awesome facts:
– After two years of training, Corrie Ten Boom was the first woman to be licensed as a watchmaker in the Netherlands in 1922.
– Corrie started a club for girls in 1923, which eventually evolved into the well-known Triangle Clubs, with Ms. Ten Boom managing over 40 group leaders. These clubs taught everything from crafts to exercise, took camping trips, and each year a concert hall was rented for public performances. The organization was shut down by the Nazis in 1940 to prevent it from aiding the Dutch underground.
The Four Rules of the Triangle Club were:
1. Seek your strength through prayer
2. Be open and trustworthy
3. Bear your difficulties cheerfully
4. Develop the gifts that God gave you
– Casper Ten Boom had a career as a watchmaker for over 60 years.
– In 1927, Willem Ten Boom wrote about the dangers of growing anti-Semitism in Germany in his doctoral thesis, but was not taken seriously.
– Corrie was released from the concentration camp by a clerical error. One week later, all women in her age group were executed.
– Six months after her release, Corrie wrote a letter to Jan Vogel, the Dutch informant responsible for her family’s arrest, who was in prison awaiting execution. She wanted him to know that he was forgiven for what he had done.
– At 53 years of age, Corrie Ten Boom wrote her first book about her experience and began a completely new career, travelling the world as a writer, lecturer, and advocate of many causes which spanned over 30 years. The Hiding Place was published in 1971, when Corrie was 79 years old.
– In 1978, she had the first of several debilitating strokes which would eventually end her career…but not before publishing 4 more books that year.
– Corrie Ten Boom died on April 15, 1983: Her 91st birthday.
– The Ten Boom home, or the Beje, is now a museum. Visit www.corrietenboom.com for pictures.
It is impossible to know how many people have been touched by this story. Joni Eareckson Tada, renowned author and advocate for the disabled, credits a friend giving her The Hiding Place four years after a diving accident left her paralyzed, as a constant source of strength. She eventually wrote the foreword to an anniversary edition of the book, in which she says, “It is for every person whose soul is threadbare and frazzled, and for every individual who must walk into the jaws of his or her own suffering. And if you have gotten this far, it is for you. Go a little further and you will discover what I did so long ago…”
Thank you for reading, and we hope you continue to come further with us.