The Holocaust is modernly viewed as one of the greatest examples of human suppression and discrimination. However, many heroes and defenders against the Holocaust remain largely uncredited by the general public. One of the unacknowledged heroes, Corrie Ten Boom, is “[an] indomitable spirit.. , not just a ‘sweet little grandmother’, but a two-fisted old Dutch soldier for Christ” (“Corrie Ten Boom” U*X*L). Through her unshakable faith in God, Corrie Ten Boom was able to valiantly aid the Holocaust victims in their most dire time of need despite the constant danger of being captured.
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Ten Boom’s generosity was cultured from her religious background and loving family, who was always supportive and equally charitable (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia).
As Ten Boom was growing up, her family participated in various charitable aid projects and their home, as well as their family business, served as a hub of activity in their neighborhood, where they frequently provided meals to the homeless and took in several foster children (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia).
Additionally, Corrie and her siblings, being raised as devout Christians, knew many Jewish families in the neighborhood and even ran the Dutch Reformed church’s outreach program for Jews (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia). Later on, Corrie took over her family’s watchmaking business and also began to make contributions of her own (“Corrie Ten Boom” U*X*L). She began to conduct Bible classes in public schools and Sunday schools, making a special effort to reach out to the mentally disabled, and also establish youth clubs for teenage girls, providing religious guidance and fine arts lessons (“Corrie Ten Boom” U*X*L).
As a result, the community social work she had done for many years evolved into the Ten Boom’s participation in Haarlem’s underground resistance movement (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia). When Chancellor Adolf Hitler rose to power, the Ten Booms began to worry for the freedom and safety of their Jewish neighbors after the rumored reports of harassment of Jews surfaced, and they selflessly sacrificed their own well-being in order to protect them (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia).
Soon, on May 10, 1940, when the Nazi armies invaded the Netherlands, Corrie decided it was time to step in and live her faith (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia; “Extraordinary Bravery”). And so, throughout the years, Ten Boom became a key figure in the Haarlem underground movement as she kept a hidden refuge quarters above the watch shop and provided for the hideaways, using her connections she acquired from her previous charity works (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia).
Soon, the German occupation grew harsher and the restrictions tighter, but Ten Boom, along with her family, never considered wavering from their course of action because they believed that the Jews were God’s people and that saving them was the right thing to do (“Extraordinary Bravery”; “Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia). In 1944, the Ten Boom family was arrested for suspicion of hiding Jewish refugees and Corrie plus her sisters were later sent to Ravensbruck, a notorious concentration camp in Germany (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia).
However, they remained defensive of the Jews and managed to smuggle them out of their shelter through hidden secret messages (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia). During her stay in Ravensbruck, Corrie withstood horrible living conditions of near-starvation, extreme manual labor, and vermin infestation (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia). Even so, Corrie refused to despair and instead devoted her time to bringing hope back into the inmate’s lives, speaking and praying with them (Higgins).
Corrie kept her faith in God and was released on Christmas Day of 1944, by the lucky mistake of a clerical error (“Corrie Ten Boom” U*X*L). After her release, Ten Boom remained thankful towards God and began speaking about her experiences, spreading recognition of the terrible ordeals of the Jewish people through her books and funding of missionary work (“Extraordinary Bravery”). Characterized by her actions, Corrie Ten Boom fits the definition of a hero.
Throughout her life, Corrie Ten Boom made an influential impact on the people around her (“Extraordinary Bravery”). Despite the constant rising dangers of being persecuted by the German Nazis, Ten Boom remained sympathetic towards the Jews, believing that they were God’s people and that she needed to save them (“Corrie Ten Boom” Encyclopedia). Because of her undeniable assurance in God, Corrie Ten Boom was able to make many charitable contributions, helping many people around her and bringing them hope (“Corrie Ten Boom” U*X*L).