The Hiding Place

by Corrie ten Boom

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Literary Criticism and Significance

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Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place is a staple of Holocaust literature and is often included with such classics as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Elie Wiesel's Night. Published in 1971, it is notable in this genre in that it provides a different perspective on what happened during those darkest of times. As non-Jewish Dutch citizens, the Ten Booms could arguably have avoided notice by the occupation forces in Holland during World War II, had they simply turned a blind eye to the atrocities going on around them and gone on with their lives, but because of their involvement with the Dutch underground, they incurred the wrath of the enemy themselves. The Ten Booms became political prisoners of the Nazi regime, and The Hiding Place is told from this point of view rather than that of the ultimate focus of Hitler's Final Solution, the Jews.

Corrie Ten Boom is an evangelical Christian, and The Hiding Place has a thoroughly religious orientation, but because of the nature of the Ten Booms' faith, the book is not preachy, and maintains a universal appeal. Based firmly in scripture, the family's creed is deceptively simple, boiling down to an intimate awareness of God's presence in all situations, and a total commitment to Christ's command to love. The Ten Booms live their lives without passing judgement, accepting everyone as children of God, a benevolent father. Corrie in particular is constantly discovering new evidence of God's handiwork in their lives, and never ceases to be amazed by His goodness. The Hiding Place is an important and moving narrative in and of itself. If it succeeds in drawing readers into an exploration of the faith that is so elemental to Corrie and her family, it is truly because of the witness of their lives, and not the result of pressure or rhetoric.

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