12/15/2007

The never ending pursuit of the beautiful -- part 7


Cornelia Arnolda Johanna ten Boom was born April 15, 1892 in Holland. Corrie had two sisters, Betsy and Nollie, and one brother, Willem. Corrie's father, Casper ten Boom ran the house alone after Corrie's mother died in 1918. The Beje was the name of the house that Casper had inherited from his father along with the watch shop in the front lower section of the house. When she was 48 years of age, on seeing what was happening in Holland under the national-socialist regime -especially the unrelenting persecution of Jews- she decided that she had to do something about it. She then devised a way to assist them, an idea that met at once with her father's and brother's approval. She conceived the idea that the family's house be used as a refuge. Some six or seven persons could be hidden there. When her idea was put into practice, four of the refugees were Jews while the rest were Dutch resistance fighters. On some occasions they stayed there for a few hours only, using it as a waiting place in transit to other safe-havens; on other occasions they remained for months until they could leave for other places. But once the idea was put into operation the flow of persecuted persons became permanent. In this way, little by little, Corrie found herself heading a network formed by some eighty persons, the "Beje" Group ("Beje" the business name of the shop), who devoted themselves to seek refuges in houses of other courageous Dutchmen who could grant asylum in the way she herself did. Most of her time she was busy taking care of the refugees, once she could find a place where to lodge them. It is estimated that in this way she saved the lives of about 800 Jews, as well as numerous members of the Dutch resistance and students who were persecuted for refusing to cooperate with the Nazis.

In 1978 she suffered a cerebral-vascular stroke that left her paralyzed. She passed away on April 15, 1983, on her 91st birthday. It is most remarkable that she should have left this world on that particular date. In accordance with Jewish tradition, only those persons specially blessed by God are granted the privilege of dying on the same date of their birthday.

Corrie ten Boom was an ordinary person with the fortitude of character to live an extraordinary life. She was certainly not alone in her efforts but her own dedication makes her stand out. As a reward for the work she did the Nazis put her in a concentration camp. The rest of her family died or became forever missing in their custody. Their sacrifice is a legacy to all of us to stand against all forms of oppression of those around us. While under detention, Corrie's father Casper was informed that he could be condemned to death for saving Jews, he declared: "It would be a honor to give my life for God's chosen people". For reasons that my words cannot do justice to and my tears emphasize I say that Corrie ten Boom and the ten Boom family were beautiful.

14 comments:

Yehudi01 said...

This was the best one yet, Jason. She is one of the brightest flames taht stand out in that very dark time of history. Fantastic job, my friend.

nanc said...

one of the best people who ever lived - i enjoy her writing and hope my children pick up on it someday.

Elmer's Brother said...

like the midwives who saved Moses...

Corrie Ten Boom...awesome!

Yehudi01 said...

Ok Jason, I launched it..come read the latest...

Jan said...

Ah,Jason..you have written about one of my all-time favorite people in the world!

Corrie ten Boom has to be one of the most remarkable persons to have ever lived! Not only was she instrumental in saving the lives of the people who sought refuge in her shop/home, but she was a great comfort while in Ravensbruck, where her sister, Betsy, died.

"There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still" and "God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies."

These were her words, and she lived her life accordingly.

Beautiful, indeed!

Ann said...

Jan, I couldn't have said that any better! Corrie was one of the all time hero's!
L' Shalom
Ann

Jungle Mom said...

I had the blessing of meeting her.I was a very young child and if were not for the photo I would not remember it. She spoke at my fathers seminary. Thank God for her courage and beauty!

The Frank Family said...

JM -- What a privilege!!! I bet you treasure that photo.

Ann -- She should be a hero to all.

Jan -- Thanks for adding some of her many great quotes in here. It's beautiful when someone lives their christianity instead of just telling it.

ElBro -- She was the tool of God to accomplish his will for sure.

nanc -- I agree and will also tell my children of her beauty.

Daniel -- When our world is at its darkest moments is when the brightest lights shine out to show the rest of the way.

Thank you all for your comments. Though I don't really "know" any of you I count you guys among my dearest of friends.

WomanHonorThyself said...

thank u so much Jason for sharing this beauty with us!

Bar Kochba said...

Thank you for sharing her amazing story with us. Its important to remember that during those dark years, there was still some goodness in man.

PS Have you signed in support of the Jewish Declaration to the Nations? (Jason, I know that you already did, but to all others) Its very important so please pass it on.

Brooke said...

Outstanding selection!

Yehudi01 said...

Thanks, buddy!BK, I signed it yesterday, and so did Keren.

rockync said...

I've had the profound pleasure of reading Corrie's book. When ordinary people do extraordinary things for faith and honor and human decency, they are truly beautiful. Thank God for the ten Booms and all the others like them for providing a bright, shining light during one of the darkest times in human history.

Jeani said...

I read her books before I knew the Lord and would sit and bawl my eyes out. I didn't know why but now I do. I kept thinking that even though she thought she was going to her death she was still happier than I was. I love all her books and can honestly say they have made a big difference in my life. Thanks for the reminder.