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Free Study Guide for The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

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The most important theme of this story is God’s love is always there no matter how dark the shadows that fall over us. This theme overflows the events of the story as Corrie and Betsie always come back to it when despair threatens to overtake them.

Another theme involves the idea of love for our fellow man. The ten Booms never think of not allowing people who were in need into their home. Even before the war, eleven foster children were raised there and the family gave back a great deal to their community. Father and Mama taught them to never turn their backs on anyone who might need them.

The theme of prejudice weaves throughout the story as well when we see anti-Semitic feelings, even among some of the Dutch. The “Jewish Question” as handled by the Nazis and how it turned into nothing less than the genocide we now call the Holocaust is the backdrop to the story, but also the overriding reason why Corrie and Betsie end up in Nazi prisons.

There’s also the theme of honesty and when it’s right in the eyes of God to be dishonest. This idea is one that Corrie and her family found difficult to apply to the evil around them. Should they maintain their feeling that honesty is always the best policy or should they compromise their values when it might save someone’s life?

Finally, there is the theme of the responsibility of a Christian to stand up against evil. Many of the Dutch turned their backs on their fellow countrymen and some even collaborated with the Germans. So, Corrie and her family weigh in on their knowledge that God looks for us to be responsible Christians.


Many times, the mood of this story is one of fear and despair. The two women, Betsie and Corrie, are subjected to horrific conditions during their imprisonment, and they witness the deaths of many innocent people. However, the overall mood is uplifting and optimistic, because within the midst of the shadow of the Nazi regime, there is goodness that is practiced, and hope always seems to give them the strength to go on. In the end, the mood is one of joy that Corrie lived to tell the story, even as the reader feels great sadness at the loss of such wonderful people as Casper ten Boom and his eldest daughter, Betsie.

Corrie ten Boom - BIOGRAPHY

Corrie ten Boom was born on April 15, 1892, in Haarlem, Holland, and lived there in a wonderful old house called the Beje most of her life. After an early disappointment in love, she chose to never marry; this seemed to be a part of God’s plan for her as she became a minister of His word after spending a year in Nazi controlled prisons and in Ravensbruck, the infamous concentration camp that was responsible for the deaths of about 95,000 women. Corrie’s experiences in these prisons are the basis for her well-known autobiography, The Hiding Place, written with the help of John and Elizabeth Sherrill. She spent the latter part of her life traveling and speaking to audiences hungry for the story her sister, Betsie, had encouraged her to tell even as she was lying on her death bed. Eventually, after suffering several strokes, she came to live in Orange County, California, with friends and died there on her 91st birthday, April 15, 1983.


This autobiography takes place at a time we have now come to know as the Holocaust. Although Corrie ten Boom only witnessed this horror from her own perspective and that of the Dutch, she accurately portrays how the Nazi regime systematically rounded up all those people they considered undesirable in their new state, including six million Jews, and exterminated them. This makes Corrie’s story one that will resound among generations to come and will keep alive the truth about that time even as revisionist historians attempt to prove otherwise. She witnessed it firsthand, and so she is a source of truth when doubts would creep in and destroy it.


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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Hiding Place". . 09 May 2017