In Corrie Ten Boom's book The Hiding Place, what was Pickwick's real name?I have tracked down this deceased man to a district in Haarlem, Holland. But the authorities who control the archive need...
In Corrie Ten Boom's book The Hiding Place, what was Pickwick's real name?
I have tracked down this deceased man to a district in Haarlem, Holland. But the authorities who control the archive need his real name.
Pickwick's real name is Herman Sluring.
Betsie and Corrie call him Pickwick because to them he looks "incredibly like the illustrator's drawing in (their) copy" of a Charles Dickens novel. Corrie describes Pickwick as being "without doubt the ugliest man in Haarlem. Short, immensely fat, head bald as a Holland cheese, he (is) so wall-eyed that you (are) never quite sure whether he (is) looking at you or someone else - and as kind and generous as he (is) fearsome to look at". Children tend to be afraid of Pickwick at first, but his genial nature and sense of humor usually win them over quickly. He loves his coffee "thick with sugar", and comically uses his "own protruding paunch" as a table on which to set his cup. This practical, self-deprecating action never fails to incite the children's interest and amazement, and at gatherings, they always end up gathered in an amazed and respectful circle around the good-natured man (Chapter 1).
Pickwick is a member of the Dutch underground devoted to saving Holland's Jews from Hitler's wrath. He is also a longtime friend of the Ten Boom family, and a liason in helping them construct the secret rooms in the Beje and secure the supplies they need to aid those they must hide. Pickwick is arrested at the same time as the Ten Booms, but is eventually released. It is he who takes Corrie back to the Beje after her own release from Ravensbruck.