The Hiding Place

by

Corrie Ten Boom

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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 shop’s bookkeeper, but eventually she discovers that she’s much happier and more skilled at running the household, while Corrie is more interested in watchmaking and the business aspects of the shop. When the family starts to shelter Jews during the war, it’s Betsie who manages to feed large numbers of people on slim rations and keeps things running smoothly inside the house. Although Betsie sometimes seems passive or retiring compared to Corrie, who is a natural leader, by the end of the novel she emerges as Corrie’s spiritual guide. Even within the bleak atmosphere of the concentration camp, Betsie is able to rally women of many denominations into clandestine prayer services and Bible study, which generates camaraderie and goodwill. Moreover, while Corrie often struggles with anger at their captors and doubt that their imprisonment is part of God’s plan, Betsie is able to forgive others seemingly without effort and even prays for the camp guards and the spy who turned the family in. Betsie dies of malnutrition at Ravensbruck, but when Corrie sees her body, she finds that her face seems restored to its previous youth and health; she interprets this as a sign of Betsie’s moral rectitude and closeness to the divine. Much of the work Corrie does after the war promoting forgiveness and reconciliation is a continuation of the principles Betsie taught her by example in the concentration camps.

Betsie ten Boom Quotes in The Hiding Place

The The Hiding Place quotes below are all either spoken by Betsie ten Boom or refer to Betsie ten Boom. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Faith and Action Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Chosen Books edition of The Hiding Place published in 1974.
Invasion Quotes

And then, incredibly, Betsie began to pray for the Germans up there in the planes, caught in the fist of the giant evil loose in Germany [...] “Oh, Lord,” I whispered, “listen to Betsie, not me, because I cannot pray for these men at all.”

Related Characters: Corrie ten Boom (speaker), Betsie ten Boom
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

But if God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them. That’s why He sometimes shows us things, you know—to tell us that this too is in His hands.

Related Characters: Betsie ten Boom (speaker), Corrie ten Boom
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:
The Secret Room Quotes

The man bent forward, his hand in spite of himself reaching for the tiny fist curled around the blanket. For a moment I saw compassion and fear struggle in his face. Then he straightened. “No. Definitely not. We could lose our lives for that Jewish child.”

Related Characters: Corrie ten Boom (speaker), Betsie ten Boom
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:
Vught Quotes

“Betsie, don’t you feel anything about Jan Vogel? Doesn’t it bother you?”

“Oh yes, Corrie! Terribly! I’ve felt for him ever since I knew—and pray for him whenever his name comes into my mind. How dreadfully he must be suffering!”

Related Characters: Corrie ten Boom (speaker), Betsie ten Boom (speaker), Jan Vogel
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:
Ravensbruck Quotes

“‘Give thanks in all circumstances,’” she quoted. “It doesn’t say, ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.”

Related Characters: Betsie ten Boom (speaker), Corrie ten Boom
Related Symbols: The Bible
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
The Blue Sweater Quotes

The knitters of Barracks 28 became the praying heart of the vast diseased body that was Ravensbruck, interceding for all the camp—guards, under Betsie’s prodding, as well as prisoners. We prayed beyond the concrete walls for the healing of Germany, of Europe, of the world—as Mama had once done from the prison of a crippled body.

Related Characters: Corrie ten Boom (speaker), Betsie ten Boom
Page Number: 222
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Hiding Place LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Hiding Place PDF

Betsie ten Boom Character Timeline in The Hiding Place

The timeline below shows where the character Betsie ten Boom appears in The Hiding Place. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The One Hundredth Birthday Party
Faith and Action Theme Icon
...in the new outfit, even though she’s forty-five and losing her figure. It’s her sister Betsie who always looks graceful, no matter what she wears, but Corrie admires her, rather than... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
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...the steep stairs which link the many floors in her narrow, typically Dutch house. However, Betsie gets there before her and answers the door to find a young boy delivering flowers.... (full context)
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Betsie and Corrie carry the flowers into the shop, where Father displays his wares and performs... (full context)
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...are eager to offer their respects to Father, sometimes known as “Haarlem’s Grand Old Man.” Betsie is especially happy to receive them; because the house is so narrow and dark, it’s... (full context)
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...the table used to be crowded at every meal, but now only Father, Corrie, and Betsie use it. Her older siblings, Willem and Nollie, have married and left home, and Mama... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
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As Betsie brings in coffee and breakfast, Father carefully descends the stairs. He prays over the meal... (full context)
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Betsie reminisces that Mama could make every day into a special occasion. Since she was friends... (full context)
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...would have been impossible to imagine Father dead and buried in an unmarked grave, or Betsie “standing naked before a roomful of men.” (full context)
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Betsie and Corrie are busy for the rest of the morning, finishing the cooking and greeting... (full context)
Full Table
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...moments in her childhood. It’s 1898, and she’s preparing for her first day of school. Betsie scolds her for wearing torn stockings and rummages around for a more presentable outfit. Meanwhile,... (full context)
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After breakfast Betsie and Nollie hurry out the door, but Corrie lingers until Mama gently tells her to... (full context)
The Watch Shop
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...Corrie’s name over and over again; Corrie puts her to bed and fetches Father and Betsie, but Mama is suffering an unstoppable cerebral hemorrhage. (full context)
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...marriage to Karel. She knows that by now she’s too old to get married; like Betsie, who has pernicious anemia and has vowed to remain single, she will remain at the... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
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A month later, Betsie gets a nasty cold. While she’s in bed, Corrie takes over her duties in the... (full context)
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...the first certified female watchmaker in Holland. For the next twenty years Father, Corrie, and Betsie live in this comfortable pattern. (full context)
Moral Choices Theme Icon
...or seek advice from Father, who prays for guidance from God. Corrie tries to emulate Betsie’s habit of learning details about every visitor, and she’s happy when people say that she’s... (full context)
Invasion
Forgiveness Theme Icon
That night Corrie wakes up to the sound of explosions. She finds Betsie and they pray together for Holland and the Queen. Betsie even prays for the German... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
...sees an old cart roll across the square. She herself is inside it, alongside Father, Betsie, Willem, Peter, and family friends like Pickwick and Toos. She feels that they should get... (full context)
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...Unable to sleep one night, she goes downstairs to have a cup of tea with Betsie. After an hour of chatting, she returns upstairs. On her pillow is a large piece... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
Moral Choices Theme Icon
Father, Betsie, and Corrie begin to discuss what they can do to help Jewish friends. Already Willem... (full context)
The Secret Room
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Moral Choices Theme Icon
...her to close her clothing store, and she’s afraid to go home to her apartment. Betsie eagerly offers her one of the Beje’s spare rooms and even invites her to help... (full context)
Eusie
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...her kitchen table over a trap door in the basement. One night, Corrie, Father and Betsie are visiting for Flip’s birthday when the children run inside, saying that soldiers are two... (full context)
Tolerance Theme Icon
Moral Choices Theme Icon
...living, mostly young people who are restless from confinement and make a lot of noise. Betsie, who visits often, is concerned that their carelessness endangers everyone. (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
...dietary rules, which prohibit him from eating pork. Meat is so rare by now that Betsie has to take what she can get for her ration coupons, and one day she... (full context)
Tolerance Theme Icon
...It’s loud and chaotic, but the fugitives reach the secret room in four minutes while Betsie and Corrie rearrange the table to make it seem as though only three people are... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
The nine people settle into their routine as a household—a fairly happy one, thanks to Betsie. She organizes activities to alleviate the tedium of confinement, and the group enjoys impromptu concerts,... (full context)
Storm Clouds Gather
Forgiveness Theme Icon
When Otto bursts into the dining room, only Father and Betsie are sitting at the table. Corrie herself can barely believe that twelve people were gathered... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
...doesn’t say that they’ve been asked to aid in a murder, fearing that Father and Betsie will be upset. (full context)
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Corrie, Father, and Betsie stay up praying long after everyone has gone to sleep. In spite of increasing danger,... (full context)
The Raid
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...coming and going from the secret room just next to her bed. In the morning, Betsie wakes her up saying that there’s a man at the door waiting to speak to... (full context)
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Downstairs Father, Betsie, and Toos are sitting against the wall, along with three underground workers who had been... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
...kill you.” When she still won’t answer his questions, he returns her upstairs and takes Betsie away. (full context)
Forgiveness Theme Icon
Betsie reappears with a huge bruise in her cheek. As Corrie cries over her injuries, she... (full context)
Scheveningen
Tolerance Theme Icon
Forgiveness Theme Icon
...give up all their valuables, then placed in different shared cells. Corrie is separated from Betsie and Nollie and put in a room with strangers. Because she is sick, they women... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
Tolerance Theme Icon
...the hall and hopes for news to return to her. Eventually, she finds that while Betsie is still in prison, Nollie, Toos, Peter, Pickwick, Willem, and everyone else from the raid... (full context)
The Lieutenant
Moral Choices Theme Icon
...asks him to have her transferred back into a cell with other people or even Betsie, but Lieutenant Rahms refuses, telling her that he has no authority and is “in prison”... (full context)
Tolerance Theme Icon
Following his instructions, Corrie sees Betsie’s cell, which is much neater and more cheerful than the others, with food packages neatly... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Moral Choices Theme Icon
...be present. Stunned, Corrie walks into his office to be embraced by Willem, Nollie, and Betsie for the first time in months. Willem says that Kik has been arrested and deported... (full context)
Vught
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As they march out of the prison, Corrie looks everywhere for Betsie, but doesn’t see her. She’s loaded onto a bus that stops at a freight yard... (full context)
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...muddy forest through which they march for a mile, eventually reaching a row of barracks. Betsie and Corrie fall onto a hard bench and fall asleep together. (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
Tolerance Theme Icon
After two weeks Betsie, Corrie, and some other women are separated from the group during morning roll call. They... (full context)
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All day, Betsie and Corrie wait in various lines in the administrative buildings, anticipating imminent freedom. Corrie’s watch... (full context)
Forgiveness Theme Icon
Moral Choices Theme Icon
...again have to wait in long lines to be processed again. Corrie wails impatiently to Betsie, but her sister placidly replies that this is the best possible way to spend their... (full context)
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The next day, Betsie is assigned to sew prison uniforms with the other elderly and sick women. Looking stronger,... (full context)
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...stands through another roll call inside the camp and then returns to her barracks, where Betsie is always waiting at the doorway. (full context)
Moral Choices Theme Icon
One day, Betsie meets a woman from Ermelo, another Dutch city, who helps explain the circumstances of their... (full context)
Forgiveness Theme Icon
...unable to lead the clandestine prayer meetings which she’s organized and hands the Bible to Betsie. (full context)
Forgiveness Theme Icon
All week Corrie feels sick over Jan Vogel’s betrayal. However, when she discusses this with Betsie, she’s astonished to see that her sister has no feelings of rage at all. Rather,... (full context)
Tolerance Theme Icon
Forgiveness Theme Icon
Corrie lies awake in her bunk, feeling admiration for Betsie’s extraordinary compassion. Eventually, she realizes that she, like Jan Vogel, is guilty before God, having... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
...outside with aching legs, Corrie sees the beautiful dawn break over the wide sky, holding Betsie’s hand in “awe.” (full context)
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Forgiveness Theme Icon
Corrie hopes that she and Betsie might be released in September, as six months is the usual term for ration card... (full context)
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...more common. One night the prisoners wake up to explosions in the sky. Corrie and Betsie are already planning to return to the Beje and clean it up, but the foreman... (full context)
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The next morning, the women are ordered to pack up their possessions. Corrie and Betsie gather their toothbrushes, needles, a small bottle of vitamin oil, Nollie’s sweater, and the Bible.... (full context)
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After hours of waiting, the train begins to move slowly and jerkily. Corrie sits with Betsie’s head in her lap; her sister’s forehead feels feverish. At one point a hail of... (full context)
Ravensbruck
Tolerance Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...them to lay out their blankets on the hard, unprotected ground. Everyone is distraught, but Betsie starts to sing a hymn in her high, clear voice. The other women join in... (full context)
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...two days the women have to stand outside all day and sleep in the mud. Betsie develops a harsh cough and intestinal cramps, which Corrie tries to soothe by wrapping her... (full context)
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Corrie knows that Betsie needs the vitamin oil, and she desperately wants to save her Bible. She begins to... (full context)
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...suffering to understand. However, she also feels a deep sense of purpose, as she and Betsie spend every available moment sharing the Bible and leading prayers among the desperate and demoralized... (full context)
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...that the move will bring a better quality of life—maybe even a nurse to cure Betsie’s cough, as the vitamin oil is running low. However, when they finally arrive at Barracks... (full context)
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Corrie discovers the bunks are infested with fleas and asks Betsie how they can possibly live here, but her sister simply asks God to “show us... (full context)
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Tolerance Theme Icon
...each other in a dispute as to whether the window should be closed or shut. Betsie starts to pray loudly, asking God to “send Your peace into this room.” Eventually, the... (full context)
Moral Choices Theme Icon
...increasingly cold square outside the barracks. Everyone is assigned to work crews, and for weeks Betsie and Corrie work in a Siemans factory just outside the camp, doing miserably hard labor... (full context)
Faith and Action Theme Icon
Tolerance Theme Icon
...the camp they line up for their meager dinner and return to the barracks, where Betsie and Corrie lead a nightly prayer service. Each night women from different Christian denominations share... (full context)
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...been empty long ago, is still issuing drops of oil. This is especially astounding because Betsie is sharing it with many of the other women, although Corrie is always tempted to... (full context)
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As winter approaches all the prisoners are issued coats, and Betsie and Corrie are transferred to another work crew, digging up the ground outside the camp... (full context)
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Betsie begins to cough up blood, but her fever is too low for admittance into the... (full context)
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At last, Betsie’s fever becomes high enough and she’s admitted into the hospital. Reluctantly, Corrie leaves her there... (full context)
The Blue Sweater
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...dozen naked bodies stacked against the wall. She dashes through the hospital until she finds Betsie sitting up in a cot—she’s still thin and hasn’t seen a doctor, but has regained... (full context)
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Three days later—still without any medical attention—Betsie’s fever subsides and she returns to Barracks 28. Fortunately, she’s assigned to a crew of... (full context)
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One day, Betsie is waiting for Corrie when she returns home from her day’s shift, looking pleased and... (full context)
Moral Choices Theme Icon
...soils herself, and a particularly vicious guard, nicknamed The Snake, starts beating her. Whispering to Betsie, Corrie wonders aloud if they can open a home after the war to help traumatized... (full context)
Forgiveness Theme Icon
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Moral Choices Theme Icon
...boon, as conditions are much better there. However, she doesn’t want to be separated from Betsie. She pleads with a doctor, who relents and gives her a pass to be fitted... (full context)
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...the knitting crew. She’s thankful for this, as she gets to spend all day with Betsie, praying and studying the Bible. The women become “the praying heart of the vast diseased... (full context)
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...time, Corrie feels that God is speaking to her about her purpose after the war. Betsie wants to have a large house where concentration camp survivors can come for rest and... (full context)
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Tolerance Theme Icon
...up with many justifications, for example telling herself that she’s just acting on behalf of Betsie. She feels angry when other women take the yeast compound, which she wants to save... (full context)
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The cold is now affecting Betsie’s legs—sometimes she is too weak and stiff to walk. One day Betsie wakes up unable... (full context)
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Corrie walks with Betsie to the hospital. Betsie urgently says that Corrie must keep telling people what they have... (full context)
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At noon, Corrie asks the Snake for a pass and visits Betsie briefly. However, she can’t go again that day because other guards are on duty. After... (full context)
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...runs up to her urgently and brings her back to the hospital. She shows her Betsie’s body, and Corrie sees that her sister’s face is restored to its youthful health, with... (full context)
The Three Visions
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Forgiveness Theme Icon
...a long and confusing trip, Corrie arrives at a bombed-out station in Berlin. Just as Betsie said, it’s New Year’s Day. With the help of an elderly worker, Corrie finds the... (full context)
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...in embraces by her brother, Tine, and their children. They are saddened to hear of Betsie’s death, and share another piece of bad news—there’s been no news of Kik since his... (full context)
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...she walks through the house, remembering all the meals and fond evenings they shared with Betsie and Father there. (full context)
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Still, Corrie is often restless. She feels that Betsie’s presence is necessary for the Beje to truly feel like home. When the national underground... (full context)
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That afternoon, Corrie remembers Betsie’s final injunction to “tell people…what we learned.” She decides that this is God’s new purpose... (full context)
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...weeks later, Corrie goes to visit the house. It seems just like the place that Betsie described, down to the inlaid floors. The widow is surprised to hear Corrie describe these... (full context)
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Corrie feels rewarded to see people gradually overcoming their trauma. As Betsie had imagined, they often resolve their grief by working in the garden. As they become... (full context)
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...as a public speaker, partly to generate funds for the home and partly to share Betsie’s story with more people. She travels all over the world, but finds that her work... (full context)
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...from Ravensbruck. Seeing him makes her remember all the indignity and suffering that she and Betsie endured during her imprisonment. The man comes up to express his gratitude to Corrie, saying... (full context)