The Hiding Place

by

Corrie Ten Boom

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The Hiding Place Characters

Corrie ten Boom

The novel’s protagonist and narrator, a middle-aged Dutch woman who turns her home into a hiding place for Jews during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Raised in an extremely religious family, Corrie remains a devout… read analysis of Corrie ten Boom

Betsie ten Boom

Corrie’s older sister. Born with pernicious anemia, Betsie is unable to marry or have children, so she spends her adult life in the family home, alongside Corrie. At first, she works as the watch… read analysis of Betsie ten Boom

Father / Casper ten Boom

Corrie’s father, the benevolent patriarch of the ten Boom family. Father is a highly skilled watchmaker whose shop is one of the oldest institutions in Haarlem. However, he’s best known in the city for… read analysis of Father / Casper ten Boom

Mama

Corrie’s mother. Often bedridden by an unnamed chronic illness, Mama accepts her lot in life without complaint and selflessly devotes herself to aiding the city’s poor people. Even after she suffers a stroke and… read analysis of Mama

Pickwick

A wealthy Haarlem merchant, frequent customer at the ten Booms’ shop, and genial family friend. As Corrie starts to shelter Jews in her house, she discovers that Pickwick is at the center of the Dutch… read analysis of Pickwick
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Tante Jans

Mama’s sister and Corrie’s aunt, who lives in the Beje for most of Corrie’s childhood. One of the most devout members of the family, Tante Jans is a well-known writer of religious tracts… read analysis of Tante Jans

Tante Anna

Mama’s sister and Corrie’s aunt, who lives in the Beje for most of Corrie’s childhood. Due to Mama’s frequent bouts of illness, Tante Anna is usually responsible for running the entire household. While… read analysis of Tante Anna

Tante Bep

Mama’s sister and Corrie’s aunt, who lives in the Beje for most of Corrie’s childhood. Prior to living with the family, Tante Bep was a governess, and she likes to reminisce about the… read analysis of Tante Bep

Toos

A saleslady and bookkeeper at the watch shop. Toos is so unfriendly and bad-natured that most people don’t want to employ her, but Father has not only kept her on but softened her with his… read analysis of Toos

Karel

A friend of Willem’s at seminary. Meeting Karel as a teenager, Corrie immediately falls in love with him. Several years later, during celebrations for Willem’s wedding, Corrie and Karel share a brief courtship, even… read analysis of Karel

Nollie ten Boom/von Woerden

Corrie’s older sister. As a child, Corrie frequently contrasts Nollie’s composure and physical poise to her own shy nature and plain looks; however, she admires her sister’s attributes rather than resenting them. Since girls… read analysis of Nollie ten Boom/von Woerden

Willem ten Boom

Corrie’s older brother. The only one of her siblings to receive a university education, he attends seminary and becomes a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church. He marries Tine, a family acquaintance, and… read analysis of Willem ten Boom

Christoffels

An elderly employee of the watch shop. Once an itinerant clock mender, Christoffels settles down in Father’s employ now that his trade is out of fashion and becomes a beloved member of the family… read analysis of Christoffels

Peter von Woerden

Nollie’s son, one of Corrie’s oldest nephews, and her personal favorite. Peter is an exceptionally gifted musician as well as an impetuous idealist: the organist at his church, Peter breaks the law by… read analysis of Peter von Woerden

Kik ten Boom

Willem’s son, and Corrie’s nephew. Like his cousin Peter, Kik is an important member of Corrie’s operation, working as a “runner” to ferry supplies and news between different safe houses. During Corrie’s… read analysis of Kik ten Boom

Harry de Vries / “The Bulldog”

A Jewish resident of Haarlem. Prior to the war, Corrie and Father frequently encounter the man walking his beloved bulldogs. During the occupation, when they see that he has a yellow star sewn onto his… read analysis of Harry de Vries / “The Bulldog”

Rolf van Vliet

A Dutch policeman and, prior to the war, a distant family acquaintance. During the occupation Corrie initially distrusts him because he works at the jail where Jews and other prisoners are held. However, after he… read analysis of Rolf van Vliet

Leendert

A Jewish schoolteacher who takes refuge in the Beje. An amateur electrician, he installs a buzzer system through which someone downstairs can alert the whole house if a suspicious person is present. Leendert is… read analysis of Leendert

Meyer Mossel / Eusebius “Eusie” Smit

A devout Jewish man who takes refuge in the Beje, having been turned away from several other hiding places because his stereotypically Semitic features make him an especially risky fugitive. Corrie rechristens him “Eusebius… read analysis of Meyer Mossel / Eusebius “Eusie” Smit

Mary Itallie

A Jewish woman who takes refuge in the Beje. Mary’s presence is especially risky, as she has asthma and can be heard wheezing even inside the secret room; however, the family and the other… read analysis of Mary Itallie

Jop

An apprentice at the watch shop during the Nazi occupation. Eventually, he takes up residence at the Beje as well. Because German troops often seize young men in the streets and send them to work… read analysis of Jop

Jan Vogel

A Dutch collaborator with the Gestapo who helps expose several resistance organizations, including Corrie’s. During her time in the concentration camps, Corrie often feels uncontrollable anger when thinking about Vogel, but when she admits… read analysis of Jan Vogel

The Snake

A young S.S. guard at Ravensbruck. Corrie nicknames her “the Snake” due to the shiny dress she wears under her uniform. The Snake is often vicious towards prisoners, but she also intercedes to get Betsieread analysis of The Snake

The S.S. guard

An unnamed man Corrie meets during a postwar speaking tour in Germany, whom she recognizes as a guard she and Betsie encountered at Ravensbruck. Remembering all the suffering Betsie endured there, Corrie feels as though… read analysis of The S.S. guard

Otto

A young German and proud Nazi who briefly serves as Father’s apprentice, a few years before the war. During his time at the watch shop, Otto begins to abuse Christoffels with almost sociopathic violence, tripping… read analysis of Otto

Annaliese

A young Jewish woman who hides at Nollie’s house. When the Gestapo raid the house and ask if Annaliese is a Jew, Nollie, unable to tell a lie, admits that she is. Corrie is… read analysis of Annaliese

Lieutenant Rahms

A German officer who questions Corrie about her alleged underground work during her imprisonment in Scheveningen. Corrie quickly establishes a rapport with the lieutenant, who is disillusioned with his work as a Nazi occupier and… read analysis of Lieutenant Rahms

Clergyman

A priest who is a friend of Corrie's family. Corrie tries to get the priest to protect a Jewish mother and her baby by taking them into his home, which is in an isolated spot… read analysis of Clergyman
Minor Characters
Flip von Woerden
Nollie’s husband, a schoolteacher and eventually a principal. Alongside Nollie and Corrie, Flip helps Jews escape during the Nazi occupation; he is arrested with the rest of the family but released in Holland rather than being sent to a concentration camp.
Cato de Vries
Harry de Vries’s wife, who is a Christian. Cato goes into hiding with Harry, but due to her religion, she’s not deported when the Gestapo raid their safe house. Cato survives the war.
Henk
A Jewish lawyer who takes refuge in the Beje. Henk is in the house when the Gestapo arrest the ten Booms, but later escapes with Rolf’s help.
Thea Dacosta
A Jewish woman who takes refuge in the Beje. Thea is in the house when the Gestapo arrest the ten Booms, but later escapes with Rolf’s help.
Meta Monsanto
A Jewish woman who takes refuge in the Beje. Meta is in the house when the Gestapo arrest the ten Booms, but later escapes with Rolf’s help.
Hans
One of Father’s apprentices at the watch shop, prior to the war.
Tine ten Boom
Willem’s wife, and Corrie’s sister-in-law.
Mr. and Mrs. Weil
A Jewish couple who live across the street from Corrie and own a furrier shop. When German soldiers demolish the shop and kick Mr. Weil out of his home, Corrie helps him contact his wife and arranges his transport out of the city through the underground.
Mr. and Mrs. Kan
A couple who live near the Beje and own a watch shop that usually undersells Father's. Even though they usually do a better business, Father always treats them as friends rather than competition, showing that his moral principles are never compromised by worldly concerns.
Fred Koornstra
A family friend who works in the Food Office. When she needs to procure ration cards for Jewish refugees, Corrie approaches Fred for help. Eventually, he comes up with a scheme to provide her with a hundred fake ration cards per month.
Mrs. Kleermaker
An elderly Jew who comes to the Beje after being kicked out of her home by the Germans. She is the first refugee Corrie helps from outside her circle of family friends.