Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dad and Mom see Haarlem

We didn't have to be at the Ten Boom Museum for our tour until 10am, so we got a bit of a later start in the morning. We had breakfast at the hotel and then walked around a little bit. I wish we'd budgeted a little more time in the morning because we definitely could have seen so much more than we did, but it was okay! The streets we did explore were very cute.

Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch woman whose believing family helped the Jewish people. During the years of the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands, the ten Boom family hid and helped over 600 Jewish people! Corrie wrote a book called The Hiding Place which is how I became familiar with her story. The family were all believers, and Corrie and her sister Betsie were middle-aged unmarried women who lived with their father and a couple of aunts in this home, along with the people they were hiding. I'd seriously recommend the book because parts of it read like fiction, hearing stories of how they lived with lots of people hidden in the house and how they were arrested and taken to concentration camps. Corrie survived Ravensbruck in Germany and returned, eventually traveling around speaking about her experience and the amazing things God did during this time. That's such a basic description, but she really had an amazing life story.

The tour is free, with only a suggested donation. They allow 20 people to do the tour at once, and the tours are given by volunteers. Ours was a sweet elderly lady named Ety, who was a child during the war and so could tell her stories of what it was like living in those times. 

This is the view from the roof.

Why do pictures never do justice to steep things? These stairs were steep and narrow.

There was a hiding place built into a wall in Corrie's bedroom. They had a bookcase with a hidden door for those in hiding to sneak into. The place in the wall is very narrow and small, but when the ten Boom family was arrested, the people hidden in their house were never found! They have opened up the wall so that visitors can look inside and stand in there, and you can also go through the hidden door if you desire.

Hidden ration cards

They used this signal in the window to indicate that things were "all clear" and that no Nazis were inside. 

Mom with our tour guide.

We picked our bags up after this and walked back to the train station to spend the rest of our day in Amsterdam.

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