This is the story of Corrie Tenboom, a Dutch watchmaker in her 40’s, who saved approximately 800 lives in her hiding place. The intelligible and courageous character was the only member of the Tenboom family who survived the Nazi invasion.
The family, who owns a simple watch shop at Ravensbruck, was one of many who encountered the invasion but they faced the hardship with absolute bravery, due to their profound faith that God will get them through.
When Corrie was about 42, just eight months before World War 2, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. They were searching for prisoners, specifically Jews, because their leader Adolf Hitler thought of the Jews as men of low values. To gain more power, Hitler’s number one purpose was to bring the group down.
During this times of trials and tribulations, Corrie’s family remained obedient to God. One character that illustrated such strong faith was Corrie’s father who was quoted as saying: “I would open the door to anyone who knocks”, before his unfortunate demise in the concentration camp.
One afternoon beneath the dark clouds, there was a knock on Corrie’s door where she rushed to find a terrified Jewish child. While she was also scared, she decided to follow her father’s words. Corrie took the child and more Jews in and hid them behind a wall of the watch shop, which was only a few feet wide.
Throughout sufferings, famine, fear and sleepless nights, Corrie maintained her faith and continued to hide the Jews. Every time there was a house check by the Nazis, Corrie would hold her breath, in hopes that they would not discover her secret hiding place.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God,” she kept reminding herself.
All the while, Corrie did not pray for the wars to end or for her sufferings to be over but instead, she sought for moments of peace during the storm.
“Peace is not being safe and sound with quietness, peace is having soundness during hardships,” she added.
Corrie continued to provide shelter and basic necessities such as clothing and food to the Jews in hiding, all while keeping her faith alive. While her actions might be viewed as punishable by man’s laws, she knew that it was the right thing to do.
According to Corrie, it was in the hell of Ravensbruck did she learn the power of Heaven and saw that God’s church could never be destroyed.
You can read more about Corrie’s true life story by reading her book called “The Hiding Place”.