Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Corrie ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom (April 15, 1892 - April 15 1983) was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the youngest of three sisters and one brother. Her father was a watchmaker and she was raised in the Dutch Reformed church. She never married.
In 1892 her family moved to "Beje" house in Haarlem and in 1918 the family took in the first of many children. Corrie began training as a watchmaker in 1920 and in 1922 became the first female watchmaker licensed in Holland. In 1923 she helped organize the first girls' club, and in the 1930s these clubs grew to become the very large Triangle Club .
Corrie was able to rescue many Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazi SS during the Holocaust. In 1940 the Nazis invaded Holland and banned her club organization. By 1942 her family became very active in the Dutch underground , hiding refugees. The Nazis arrested her entire family in 1944; they were sent first to Dutch prisons, and finally to the notorious Ravensbrück in Germany. Corrie was released at the end of the war, only days after her sister Betsie died. She returned to Holland to begin rehabilitation centres. She returned to Germany in 1946, beginning many years of itinerant preaching in over sixty countries, during which time she wrote many books.
Her preaching focused on the Christian Gospel, with emphasis on forgiveness. In her book Tramp for the Lord (1974), she tells the story of how, after she had been preaching in Germany in 1947, she was approached by one of the cruelest former Ravensbrück camp guards. She was naturally reluctant to forgive him, but prayed that she would be able to. She wrote that she was then able to forgive, and that "For a long moment we grasped each other's hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God's love so intensely as I did then." She also wrote (in the same passage) that in her post-war experience with other victims of Nazi brutality, it was those who were able to forgive who were best able to rebuild their lives.
Corrie told the story of her family and their work during World War II in another book, The Hiding Place (1971), which was made into a film of the same name by World Wide Pictures . The book and film give context to the story of Anne Frank, who was also in hiding in Holland during the war.
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