Cornelia (Corrie) Arnolda Johanna ten Boom was born on 15 April, 1892, the youngest of four children. The others were Willem, Betsie, and Nollie. Her devoutly Christian family lived with three of Corrie’s aunts in a house called the ‘Beje’, which was situated above her father’s watch shop in Haarlem, the Netherlands. But, by the time the war began, only she, Betsie, and their father, Caspar, remained in the Beje. Corrie followed her father into the watch making business, becoming the first female horologist in Haarlem.
The Hiding Place is the story of the ten Boom family during World War II. It is Corrie’s personal memoir of the events that she experienced. And it is also a personal statement of her faith as a Christian.
The story of The Hiding Place opens in 1937 with the 100th birthday of the watch shop. This introduces the reader to all the major characters of the story: the whole ten Boom family, as well as ‘Oom’ Hermann Sluring (known as Pickwick), a wealthy friend of the family. At this party Corrie received the first hint of her future, when Willem (who had been preaching of the dangers of Nazism as early as 1927) arrived at the party with a Jew, who had just escaped from Germany.