On May 1942, a well-dressed woman came to the Ten Boom door with a suitcase in hand. She told the Ten Booms that she was a Jew and that her husband had been arrested several months before, and her son had gone into hiding. Occupation authorities had recently visited her, and she was too fearful to return home. After hearing about how the Ten Booms had helped their Jewish neighbors, the Weils (while this is the name given in her book, the actual name of the furrier across the street was N Weill & zoon), she asked if she might stay with them, and Corrie ten Boom’s father readily agreed. A devoted reader of the Old Testament, Casper ten Boom believed Jews were indeed “the chosen,” and told the woman, “In this household, God’s people are always welcome.”
Thus began “the hiding place”, or “de schuilplaats”, as it was known in Dutch (also known as “de Béjé”, pronounced in Dutch as ‘bayay’, an abbreviation of the name of the street the house was in, the Barteljorisstraat). Ten Boom and her sister began taking in refugees, some of whom were Jews, others members of the resistance movement sought by the Gestapo and its Dutch counterpart.
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