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Free Study Guide for The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

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ONLINE BOOK SUMMARY THE HIDING PLACE

CHAPTER NINE - The Raid

Summary

The chapter begins on the morning of February 28, 1944, and Corrie has had influenza for two days. She was awakened by their Jews returning bed clothes to the secret room and Betsie, who had brought her some tea. Betsie told her that there was a man at the door who had insisted he would speak only to Corrie. He said he was from Ermelo, and Betsie had never seen him before. She got up and got dressed, even though she was so ill, because there was so much to do for the network. She noticed before she went downstairs what she called her talisman - her packed prison bag - which seemed like a safeguard to her against the terrors of prison. The man told Corrie that he needed 600 guilders to pay a bribe to a policeman at the local station to free his wife. Corrie hesitated, because something about the man’s demeanor worried her, but she also worried that someone might really need their help. She made arrangements to get the man the money and then returned to bed.


Corrie was awakened later by the sound of running and buzzers ringing and came out of her sick sleep to realize that this was a real raid. The six people in the house at the time, including Mary Itallie with her wheezing asthma, dove into the secret room just in time, while Corrie prayed that Jesus would heal Mary long enough to calm her breathing. The police arrived and forced Corrie out of bed, demanding to see all their papers. She got dressed quickly and went to reach for her prison bag when she realized that in her haste, she had pushed it against the secret panel. Fearing that taking it would give away the secret room, she walked away from the talisman she had kept carefully packed for so long. She was then taken alone into the shop where one of the soldiers beat her to try to get information out of her. They also beat Betsie and discovered the warning system with the Alpine Watches sign. This left their home a place of danger for anyone from the network that might appear. They had even arrested Pickwick and discovered the radio beneath the stairs. In the meantime, they were knocking into walls and trashing the Beje, trying to discover the hidden Jews. Even the secret telephone rang. The voice on the other end, in its haste to warn the ten Booms, gave the police information about the network. In the end, they arrested Corrie, Betsie, Father, Nollie, Peter, and Willem. As they were led out the door, Father stopped to rewind the old Frisian clock as if he believed they would be home again someday. In all, thirty-five people were arrested that day. As they all sat together at the police station, Corrie, in her illness, tried to get them all to decide the story they would tell as protection. It was Peter who finally told her to be quiet, because the watchmaker who had come in with them was actually a Gestapo plant. Towards the end of the day, while they were still seated in the station, Father gathered everyone around him for the evening prayers which Corrie had shared at the end of every day of her life. This time, Father once again recited: “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word . . . Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe . . .”

Around noon the next day, they were all rounded up and taken to a bus to be transported to another prison. The people of Haarlem stood outside and gasped in horror, many bursting into tears, as they watched “the Grand Old Man of Haarlem” being led away. For Corrie, it brought reminders of her dream of herself, her family, and many of her friends taken prisoner across the main square of Haarlem. She only had one question: where now were they going?

Notes

The long-feared day finally arrives and Corrie and her family are taken away by the Gestapo. The vision comes to past as well: they are all led away across the Smedstraat, the square Corrie had seen in her dream the night of the invasion so many years before. Their fate is now in God’s hands, because they have reached the point she believed they had to reach first: doing everything humanly possible to save those who needed them. He would take over now, and He would be their safety.

It is important to note that Corrie had the sense that the man from Ermelo was someone who might not be trustworthy (foreshadowing), but that she turned away from her instinct to help someone who might have been in need. It cost them their own safety, but in Corrie’s mind it was worth the risk.

 


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