I remember being nine years old, in a religious bookstore somewhere in midtown Manhattan, with my mother. I was browsing the biographies that had been edited for children. My eye landed on the story of Corrie Ten Boom.
I was a child, yet her story never left me. Years later as a grown woman, I picked up a copy of the full unabridged autobiography The Hiding Place written by Ten Boom.
No matter what your religious beliefs are, whether you are Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist—WHATEVER—you will not forget the courage, the strength, the astounding valor, of this remarkable lady. At great personal risk to herself and her entire family, she saved Jewish lives from the Nazi occupying forces of Holland during WWII. She lost her father. She lost her beloved sister, but she did what she KNEW was right.
Her personal belief in a force greater than all of them kept her dedicated to her mission of sheltering and rescuing Jewish lives from the horrors of the concentration camps. And even after she had lost her family and had suffered greatly herself, she kept the love and compassion she had for her fellow human being bright and burning in a world that had grown so dim.
Corrie Ten Boom.
She is and forever will be one of my most cherished heroines.