The Hiding Place is a true story which Corrie Ten Boom wrote after she and her sister Betsie suffer in a concentration camp for having harbored Jews and helped the underground movement in Holland. Betsie takes every opportunity to minister to others in the camp and she has compassion for everyone, even her captors. "If people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love. We must find the way."(ch 12) Corrie has always recognized Betsie's faith and Betsie's ability to thank God for seemingly terrible situations, even fleas. It is Betsie after having died in Ravensbruck, the concentration camp, who inspires Corrie to write the book. Corrie recalls what Betsie said: "We must tell people Corrie. We must tell them what we learned..."(ch 15) Soon after recognizing her own sense of loss as Corrie returns to Haarlem, Holland, Corrie begins to share "the message that joy runs deeper than despair."
Corrie continues to give talks to help fund the home in Bloemendaal and because so many want to hear Betsie's story. It is at one such talk that Corrie recognizes the former SS guard from Ravensbruck. Corrie remembers him as the guard who had stood at the entrance to the shower room at Ravensbruck. His presence brings all the pain back for Corrie, especially "Betsie's pain-blanched face." Corrie struggles to offer her forgiveness to the man but steels herself and finds enormous relief when she eventually offers him her hand.