Threads Do Not Unravel

A Continuance of –  A Father’s Legacy

The February 28, 1944 raid took over 20 people from the watch makers shop.  Six ten Booms family members, Casper, Betsie, Corrie, Willem, Nollie, and Peter were all taken to Scheveningen prison.  Three were later released, three were not.

Tine, Kik, Willem, Nollie, Corrie, Cornelia, Betsie, Casper

Casper’s son Willem ten Boom, named after his grandfather, was ordained in 1916 as a Dutch Reformed minster.  He studied antisemitism and was devoted in his mission to share Christ with the Jewish people.  In addition to his role as a minister, he ran a nursing home for the elderly of all faiths and at the beginning of World War II (Fall of 1939) that nursing home became a refuge for Jews fleeing from Germany.  Thus began his work as a leader in the Dutch underground.

Willem, the second born in the family ten Boom, married Tine Van Veen the same year of his ordination and later the couple had a son named Christiaan (Kik) .  On the day that Willem went to visit his father on February 28,  Tine and Kik had not gone with him and therefore were not arrested when the Gestapo stormed the clock makers shop.

Willem was taken to Scheveningen and was detained for interrogation.   A month after his arrest, through the intervention of a friendly judge, Willem was released.   However, while in prison he contracted  spinal tuberculosis and never fully recovered.  He lived the following year ill and in pain dying December 13, 1945.  Willem was 60 years old.

Christiaan (Kik) ten Boom

Willem’s son Kik carried on his father’s legacy by continuing to work with the Dutch underground.   Eventually his activity was discovered and was arrested for his work in the resistance.  He was sent to Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp, which was later liberated by the British army.

  • Bergen-Belsen was a Nazi concentration camp in northwestern Germany.  It was originally established as a prisoner of war camp.  In 1943 it became a concentration camp on the orders of Heinrich Himmler, where Jewish hostages were  held with the intention of exchanging them for German prisoners of war held overseas.  It’s conditions deteriorated between 1943-1945 and it was during this time that an estimated 36,400 and 37,600 prisoners died in Bergen-Belsen. 
  • On April 15, 1945 the camp was liberated by the British.  60,000 prisoners were found inside, most of them seriously ill, and another 13,000 unburied corpses lay around the camp.   More than 13,000 former prisoners were too ill to recover and died after liberation.  After evacuating Bergen-Belsen, the British forces burned down the whole camp to prevent the spread of typhus. During the camps existence, approximately 50,000 persons died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration complex including Anne Frank and her sister Margot, both of whom died in the camp in March 1945.  Most of the victims were Jews.

Unfortunately Kik would not be among those liberated because he had been transferred to a Russian labor camp prior to the British liberation where he died at the age of 24.

ten Boom family posing with extended family friends

In studying the photo, I recognize the patriarch of the family, Casper sitting in the middle.  I am guessing that to Casper’s left is Willem and to Willem’s left is his wife Tine, and to her left is possibly their son Christiaan (Kik).  To Casper’s right I am guessing is Peter (first born grandson who would hold this honor next to his grandfather) and to Peter’s right is his Aunt Corrie and to her right, Betsie.  I believe, from other photographs that I’ve seen,  that Nollie and Flip are located directly behind Peter.

Next post in series – Family Bonds

Reference material:  U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum,  The Hiding Place Biography, Billy Graham Center

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5 thoughts on “Threads Do Not Unravel

  1. Pingback: On This Day In 1952 – Anne Frank Published In English «

  2. This is incredible stuff, how come the younger generations do not know these things! I feel so sorry for them. Sure they know facebook, and an iphone but do they know the real meanings of life and the hero’s who have passed before them?

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