Essays on the Theme of Heroism

Corrie ten Boom

by Madison Hobbs from Fredericksburg, Virginia in United States

“ Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart,”  Corrie ten Boom said this quote about forgiveness after being imprisoned at a concentration camp for harboring Jewish people in her home. Corrie Ten Boom was a hero because of her many heroic attributes including her bravery, loyalty, and ability to forgive her oppressors. This is what  makes ten Boom a hero.

119664Corrie ten Boom Craig T. Owens 

One of the traits that makes Corrie ten Boom heroic is her bravery in the face of danger. During the Holocaust, ten Boom would harbor Jewish people and members of the Dutch Resistance inside her family home to help them escape the Gestapo. Corrie would hide them in a false wall built inside of her room; the small space could hold about seven people. She trained the people hiding there to have all of their belongings and themselves hidden in under a minute and a half if a suspicious person entered the watch shop below the hiding place. Ten Boom was risking her life and rights everyday to make sure that the people under her care wouldn’t be caught. Another example of this is when Corrie ten Boom joined the Dutch Resistance. During this time she would lead Jewish people into new safe havens and help them get ration cards. The Beje, Corrie ten Boom’s home, was then made the center for resistance work in her area. Everyday she lived with the knowledge that she could be found out, and yet she still took in more Jewish people and refugees.

In addition to bravery, ten Boom showed great loyalty when on February 28, 1944, the Gestapo raided Corrie’s home and arrested more than thirty people including herself. Corrie and her family were extensively questioned at Scheveningen prison  but refused to give out any information about the resistance or about the hiding place in her home. Through this the seven people who were hiding in Corrie’s house during the raid were able to escape after having to stay in the hiding place for two days. After the Nazis could get nothing out of ten Boom, they sent Corrie and her sister, Betsie, to the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany. After several months in the camp, Corrie was let out of the camp and then created a ‘rehabilitation’ center for ex prisoners of the camps. Even after the war was over, she remained loyal to the people that she wanted to help by trying to make their lives better after the Holocaust.

119665The Hiding Place. This is where Boom hid the Jewish refugees in her home. TripAdvisor  


Lastly, Corrie ten Boom was very forgiving. In one of her books, Tramp for the Lord,  she recalls this conversation,

“Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out: "A fine message, Fraulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!" It was the first time since my release that I had been face to face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze. "You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk," he was saying. "I was a guard there. But since that time," he went on, "I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fraulein—" again the hand came out—"will you forgive me?"

And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. "I forgive you, brother!" I cried. "With all my heart!" For a long moment we grasped each other's hands, the former guard and former prisoner.”

Corrie ten Boom had no reason to forgive this man, however she pushed through all the suffering she felt to forgive him.  Not many people would be able to forgive someone if they had been imprisoned for many months, this proves that ten Boom was a heroin. Heroes are able to forgive the people that have hurt them and Corrie is a prime example of a hero for this.

In conclusion, Corrie ten Boom was a hero because of her bravery, loyalty, and forgiveness. Throughout World War II, ten Boom helped the Jewish people in her country escape from the Gestapo. Although she felt hatred toward her oppressors, she was able to forgive them for everything that they had done. Even though she could have confessed to the Gestapo about the Jewish people hiding in her home, she did not talk. Corrie ten Boom is a hero because of these things.

Works Cited


“Corrie Ten Boom Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore,

“Corrie ten Boom.” Corrie ten Boom - New World Encyclopedia,

M., Jan. “The Corrie ten Boom House in Haarlem.” Netherlands Tourism, 2 Feb. 2015,


“Posts about Corrie ten Boom on Craig T. Owens.” Craig T Owens,


staff, Bio. “Keeping the Faith: Holocaust Hero Corrie ten Boom.”, A&E Networks Television, 17 Apr. 2017,

Page created on 1/16/2018 6:37:05 PM

Last edited 9/12/2018 3:30:26 PM

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