Dutch Christian family who saved Jewish refugees from Nazism honored


The Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Harry Kney-Tal on Wednesday presented to family members a certificate posthumously honoring two Dutch Christians who saved nearly 800 Jews during the Holocaust.

At a solemn ceremony in Harlem, Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, honored Casper ten Boom and his daughter Elisabeth with the title of “Righteous Among the Nations” for their life saving work.  A third family member, Cornelia, also helped rescue those fleeing Nazi persecution.

Devout Christians, the ten Boom family participated in the resistance against the Nazis by sheltering both Jews and non-Jews who sought refuge.  At the time of the family’s arrest in 1944, the Gestapo carefully searched the family’s house but did not discover the two Jewish men, the two Jewish women, and the two members of the Dutch underground hidden behind a false wall in Cornelia’s bedroom.

According to witnesses, Casper ten Boom was asked by his captors if he knew he could die for helping Jews.  He replied, "It would be an honor to give my life for God's ancient people."

The ten Booms were sent to Scheveningen Prison in Holland, where 84-year-old Casper ten Boom died soon after being captured.  Elizabeth and Cornelia were then sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany in September 1944.  While Elizabeth died in the camp, Cornelia was released due to a clerical error in December 1944.

After the war, Cornelia ten Bloom, who went by the name “Corrie,” wrote about her and her family’s work in the book “The Hiding Place.”  She began a worldwide ministry that took her to more than 60 countries.  She was honored by Yad Vashem before her death in 1983 at the age of 91. 

The ten Booms, a Christian Zionist family, had prayed weekly for peace in Jerusalem since 1844 until the family members’ arrest in 1944.  Dr. Michael D. Evans, founder and chairman of the board of the Corrie ten Bloom House Foundation, has renewed the family’s tradition with the Jerusalem Prayer Team, which reportedly has encouraged millions of Christian Zionists in 200 countries to pray for peace in the Holy City.

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