Monday, September 29, 2014

The Banning of Corrie ten Boom

Remember the book The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, about a Dutch family who hid and rescued hundreds of Jews during the Nazi occupation? It is now a banned book. To quote:
The ten Boom family are heroes by any standard, successfully hiding and saving the lives of some 800 Jews from the Gestapo. Eventually, the Nazis arrested the ten Booms. Corrie’s father was taken to Scheveningen prison, where he died. Corrie and her sister Betsie were taken to Ravensbrück, where Betsie died. Corrie survived and told the tale.

And what motivated the family’s self-sacrifice? Their Christian faith, something to which Corrie’s memoir amply testifies.

Countless Christians were similarly motivated by their faith to harbor Jews or otherwise resist the genocidal horror of the Nazis. Take, for example, Japanese diplomat and Orthodox convert Chiune Sugihara, who helped thousand of Jews escape death in Lithuania. Or take Maria Skobtsova, who sheltered Jews in her Paris home and died in a Ravensbrück gas chamber.

“There is not only a Jewish question, but a Christian question,” said Maria when it came time for Jews to register and wear the yellow Star. “If we were true Christians we would all wear the Star.”

Corrie ten Boom’s father donned the Star. Given this Christian impulse to identify with the oppressed and save those in danger, to remove The Hiding Place from library shelves betrays a sort of societal self-defeat, and similar examples multiply as our culture fumbles toward a more rigorously enforced secularity. We’re like the cannibal committing suicide one nibble at a time. (Read more.)

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