Summary: Chapter 9: The Raid

The narrative moves forward to February 1944. One night, the Gestapo invade the Beje. All nonfamily members hide, but the soldiers beat and interrogate Corrie and Betsie as they search for the hidden room and the Jews. Pickwick had already been arrested. The next morning, the ten Boom family, including Peter, is taken to the police station along with thirty-five others who were arrested the night before. The prisoners are put into a gymnasium and given water and rolls. Father recites the evening prayers as usual. Rolf, still secretly supportive, enters and whispers to them that they might flush any incriminating paper evidence down the toilets. The next morning, as the prisoners are herded onto a bus, the ten Boom family sees Pickwick, beaten and bloody. As the bus leaves Haarlem, Corrie recalls her earlier vision of the family being taken away and unable to return home. She doesn’t know where they are going.

Summary: Chapter 10: Scheveningen

At The Hague, a building used as Gestapo headquarters in Holland, the ten Boom family faces endless questioning. Father is offered pardon if he promises to discontinue helping Jews. However, he proudly states he will continue to help anyone who is in need and who is denied freedom. Corrie then confesses to being the ringleader to protect her family. A bus takes them to Scheveningen penitentiary, where women are separated from men and all must surrender their possessions. Corrie, Betsie, and Nollie are put in separate cells. Corrie’s cellmates offer Corrie her own cot as she is sick with the flu. Two weeks later, a doctor diagnoses Corrie with pre-tuberculosis. A kind nurse gives Corrie soap, safety pins, and four Gospels from the Bible. Two evenings later, still feverish, Corrie is transferred to solitary confinement. On April 15, she celebrates her birthday. 

One evening, the guards attend a party, which allows the prisoners to call out messages among the cells. Corrie learns that Betsie is nearby and Nollie was released, along with Peter and Willem, but there is no news of Father. Corrie later receives a package from Nollie containing cookies, a needle, a blue sweater, and a red towel so she can embroider with threads from the towel. Later, Corrie receives a letter from Nollie with news that Father died ten days after his arrest.

Analysis: Chapters 9 & 10

The Gestapo raid on the Beje and the imprisonment of the ten Boom family have been heavily foreshadowed from the opening chapter up to the point where they actually occur. Corrie’s rhetorical questions early in the narrative have alerted the reader that something terrible is going to happen to Father and Betsie. The many arrests of acquaintances, friends, and resistance works have made the ten Booms aware that they too are likely to be arrested. The hiding place of the book’s title is itself an indicator that such a place will be needed, as are the practice drills for concealing the presence of the Jews who are living there and the underground activity taking place.

The theme of faith becomes more important an explicit to the narrative when Corrie is imprisoned. She is not emotionally or physically prepared for life in prison, but her religious beliefs and underground experience enable her to cope with her harsh surroundings. Early in her stay in solitary, she wonders why the guards can’t smile or say a kind word, showing that she still retains her social expectations from the outside world, expectations that don’t apply between guard and prisoner. Between prisoners, however, there is still kindness and support, and shown when the guards leave to attend a party and the prisoners spend the time passing news of one another’s relatives. The prisoners’ efforts to help and encourage each other reinforce the theme of mutual aid. Later, Corrie’s surprise when Gestapo Lieutenant Rahms speaks politely to her and offers her a chair shows that she has unlearned these expectations. Her wariness that his kindness may be intended to soften her up for questioning reflects her underground training, and so does her ability to withstand interrogation. Here the reader sees that Corrie has truly changed when for the first time, she shows herself encountering another human being with systematic doubt and suspicion instead of welcome.