Corrie ten Boom

The narrator and central figure of the memoir. Corrie is a middle-aged unmarried Dutch watchmaker who lives in her childhood home, a house called the Beje in central Haarlem in the Netherlands. She is affectionate, practical, disciplined, and conservative.

Father (Casper ten Boom)

The father and patriarch of the ten Boom family. He is devout, intelligent, and has a quality of innocence. He is accepting of all kinds of people and protective of his family.

Betsie ten Boom

Corrie’s sister, a physically weak but emotionally forceful woman who is devoted to faith and to the care of others. She enjoys housekeeping and is good at it.

Willem ten Boom

Corrie and Betsie’s brother, a Dutch Reformed minister and worker for the Dutch resistance. He often makes himself unpopular by saying hard truths.


Corrie’s favorite nephew with an inborn gift for music.


A former itinerant clockmaker who works at the ten Boom watch shop.


A Hitler youth member and watchmaking apprentice who is fired by Father.


The police chief of Haarlem and a secret supporter of the resistance.

Kik ten Boom

Willem’s son and a worker for the resistance.


Corrie’s mother, who dies while Corrie is a young woman.

Lieutenant Rahms

The Gestapo officer who interrogates Corrie in prison in the Hague.

Tante Jans

One of Corrie’s aunts and a writer of Christian pamphlets who is very frightened of death.


Corrie and Betsie’s third sister, she absolutely refuses to tell a lie under any circumstances.


A wealthy friend of the ten Boom family.

Tante Bep

One of Corrie’s aunts and a deeply unhappy person.

Tante Anna

One of Corrie’s aunts, she looks after the family home and has a friendly attitude.


Father’s apprentice during the war and a resident of the Beje.


A friend of Willem’s with whom Corrie falls in love.

Flip van Woerdon

Nollie’s husband and Corrie’s brother-in-law.

Mr. Weil

A Jewish neighbor who runs a fur shop until the German occupation.

Mr. de Vries

A rabbi who gives his books to the ten Booms for safekeeping.

Fred Koomstra

A government worker involved with the underground.

“Mr. Smit”

A famous architect who supervises the building of the secret room in the Beje.

Meyer Mossel aka Eusie Smit

An intelligent, humorous young Jewish man, a synagogue cantor, who is hidden by the ten Booms in their home.


Willem’s wife and Corrie’s sister-in-law.

The General

A woman who guards the prisoners at the Vught concentration camp.

The Snake

A woman who guards Corrie and Betsie at Ravensbruck concentration camp.

Mrs. Bierens de Haan

A wealthy donor who offers Corrie a house to care for people who have been in the camps.