URS The touching story of Corrie ten Boom

(Anon 与 Dixia翻译)

Have you ever been to Amsterdam, Holland? You might think, what is there to see there? I suggest that you must see the home of Corrie ten Boom, famous author and speaker, and subject of a touching movie called “the Hiding Place,” about the Nazi German experience, in the life of one family committed to serving God, against all odds.
你曾经去过荷兰的阿姆斯特丹吗? 你可能会想,那里有什么? 我建议你去参观一下柯丽·邓·波姆( Corrie ten Boom)的故居。柯丽·邓·波姆是一位著名作家和演说家. 有一部关于纳粹德国的电影“隐匿之所(the Hiding Place)”,其中一个人物排除万难坚持自己的信仰. 柯丽就是其人物原型。

I have read her life story several times, and especially I have been fascinated also by many other books that she wrote, or were written about her, regarding her terrible experiences under Nazi rule, and as a prisoner in concentration camp. But somehow, through the grace of God, she not only survived, she became the inspiration for millions of people who have read her story, seen the movie about her life, or met her in person. I was privileged to actually see her in Cincinnati during one of her worldwide tours, when she was in her 80s, and I can still remember her charming heavily Dutch accented English. She had lots of heart-wrenching little stories to tell, accompanied by simple uplifting aphorisms. This “simple woman” surprisingly became one of the best-known figures from the horrendous World War II Nazi time of terror.
我多次读过她的人生故事,尤其是她自己或他人描写的关于她在纳粹集中营的可怕经历。 但令人感慨的是:因着上帝的恩典,她不仅活了下来,她的故事还激励了数百万读过她的书,或看过她的电影,或亲眼见过她的人。我曾非常荣幸地在辛辛那提见过她本人,当时80多岁的柯丽正在进行世界巡回演说,她那迷人的带着荷兰口音的英语让人印象深刻。 她讲了许多令人辛酸的小故事,以及一些举重若轻却鼓舞人心的格言。 这位“淳朴的女士”出人意料地成为了二战纳粹恐怖时期最著名的人物之一。

Photo two: A bonus to meet the daughter of the designer of the wall, a divine appointment at the Ten Boom home museum
照片二:似乎是上天的安排, 在邓·波姆故居,我遇到了壁橱内密室设计者的女儿

Corrie was one of 2 daughters of the local watchmaker family that was part of the Dutch resistance movement. They sincerely believed that Jews were the biblical “apple of the Lord’s eyes,” and they became singularly dedicated to saving as many Jews as possible from the Nazis. Father ten Boom built a secret narrow hiding place behind a fake wall of a closet of their home. When Jews were threatened with execution or arrest, they would be secretly shuttled to their home. Young and old would be huddling there, as needed, in this secret space, until danger was over, and they could be spirited to the next stop, on their way to freedom. Ultimately, however, the family was betrayed, and sent to concentration camp.
柯丽是当地钟表匠家的两个女儿中的妹妹,邓·波姆家参与了荷兰抵抗运动。 他们虔诚地相信犹太人是圣经里“上帝的选民(apple of the Lord’s eyes) ”,因此他们竭尽全力从纳粹手中拯救尽可能多的犹太人。 柯丽的父亲在他们家的一个壁橱的假墙后面建了一个狭窄的密室。 那些被威胁处决或逮捕的犹太人会被秘密地送到他们的家中。 老老少少挤在这个秘密空间里,等到躲过了风头才离开,走向自由。 然而最终,这个家庭被出卖并被送到了集中营。

After many years of deprivation, humiliation and abuse, where she saw many prisoners killed in the prison, she was unexpectedly released, just days before many others in the camp were herded into gas chambers for “extermination.” Her father and sister had died earlier in the concentration camp, but before her sister died, she gave Corrie her mission, to take the love of God to the world, and especially to the Germans. She told Corrie that they had seen hell on earth, and since only God’s love could save this evil world, she needed to tell the world about this only hope.
她在集中营中长年被剥夺自由,被侮辱和虐待,也见过许多人在狱中丧生; 然而就在大量囚犯将被赶进毒气室进行“灭绝”的前几天,她出乎意料地被释放了. 当时她的父亲和姐姐已在集中营中去世。但姐姐在去世之前,给了她使命,要求她把上帝的爱带给这个世界,特别是德国人。 姐姐告诉柯丽,他们亲历了人间地狱,只有上帝的爱可以拯救这个邪恶的世界,她需要把这个唯一的希望告诉全世界。

Corrie did just that. She wrote several truly inspirational books: my favorite is “Tramp for the Lord,” describing her journeys throughout the world to speak of God’s love in spite of, or driven by, the hell she had personally experienced. Her most dramatic story, was, to me, that after a message of love she gave before a German audience, one of the men in the group came up to her. He confessed that he had been one of the guards at the concentration camp she had been imprisoned in. Although he did not recognize her, she recognized him as one of the cruelest camp guards. He asked for forgiveness, and instantly she froze, as many terrible scenes passed through her mind; she told herself, “I cannot forgive this person.” But shockingly, she then felt a stream of warmth that rushed through her body, which she attributed to God touching her heart totally, so that she found her hand extended out to the former guard. She also found herself saying, “I could not forgive you, but God through me forgives you.” Such was God’s moving in her life, in ways she could barely understand, but she knew deep down that is how God works in our lives, touching us to love and forgive, even when we cannot, so that true peace can come to the world.
柯丽之后完成了姐姐的遗愿。她写了一些非常鼓舞人心的书。我最喜欢的是《为主而流浪》(“Tramp for the Lord”),其中描述了她在世界各地宣讲上帝的爱的旅程. 尽管(或者说正是因为)她亲身经历过人间地狱,她更要传扬爱。其中发生了最戏剧性的一件事:有一次她在德国刚讲完爱的信息,现场一名男子走到她面前, 承认自己是邓·波姆被囚禁的集中营中的一名警卫,他希望得到柯丽的宽恕。尽管警卫并不认识柯丽,柯丽却认出他是最残酷的警卫之一。霎那间她僵住了,许多恐怖的场景在脑中回放。她告诉自己:“我不能宽恕这个人。”但令人震惊的是,她感到一阵暖流在体内涌动,似乎是上帝在抚慰着她的心,甚至触动她向曾经的警卫伸出了手。她发现自己在说:“我无法宽恕你,但神通过我宽恕了你。”这就是她感受到的, 上帝以她几乎不能理解的方式影响着她的言行,她深知这是上帝在我们身上作工, 哪怕在我们做不到的时候, 他触动我们去爱和饶恕,这样一来真正的和平就临到了世间

Photo one: The hiding place behind the closet wall: jump in and out quickly

In one poignant story, Betsy, Corrie’ sister, tried to have secret bible studies in their concentration camp, to encourage the inmates. As an example of the abject misery of the camps, their bunker had such a severe infestation of fleas that it was truly unbearable. But, even then, Betsy thanked the Lord for the fleas, since the infestation was so bad that even the guards refused to come into the bunker, so the result was that they could study the bible in peace. In fact, the faith of Betsy and Corrie in the camp, in spite of atrocious cruelty, and constant beatings, was so incredibly inspirational that I was often led to tears, when I read her stories.
有一个辛酸的故事,柯丽的姐姐贝齐(Betsy)试图在集中营里组织秘密学习圣经,以鼓励一同被囚的人们。 他们所在的集中营跳蚤成灾, 让人无法忍受。即便如此,贝齐仍为跳蚤感谢上帝, 因为跳蚤肆虐,警卫不肯进入地堡,所以囚犯们可以在地堡里平静地学习圣经。在集中营, 贝齐和柯丽尽管遭受酷刑和持续殴打, 但依旧虔诚的坚持自己的信仰,这让人动容. 每当我读到这一段都感动落泪。

The home she grew up in Harlem near Amsterdam has been made into a museum that we can visit today, which I did recently. We had to check out the exact address and opening times carefully, since it is not a fancy tourist site. But it is a tremendously fascinating and touching site to visit, and you must visit it if you are in the region. I was visiting a friend from Cincinnati who was living in the region, but he had not actually heard of it. So together we went, like a pilgrimage, to her home.

To our great surprise, the museum even showed the famous actual fake wall in the home, hidden behind a closet storing clothes and bedding. The museum guide even demonstrated how the Jewish escapees could slip in and out of the hiding place on very short notice. We also had the opportunity of slipping into the space, on a very tight timeframe, once the alarm was rung. We had to imagine that, if we were at dinner, all dinnerware that could raise suspicions had to be immediately hidden, and we all, as Jews, had to pour instantly but quietly into the narrow wall space. It was all very suspenseful, and gave a great reminder of the fears and dangers the family went through for their extreme dedication to the rescue efforts.
令我们意外的是, 在博物馆里就呈现着当时隐藏在衣柜里的密室。 博物馆指南展示了犹太逃亡者如何在很短时间内进出密室。 参观者甚至有机会在报警响起时,在有限时间内进入该密室。 我们不得不想象,如果我们在吃晚餐,所有可能引起怀疑的餐具都必须立即隐藏起来,而所有的犹太人都必须立即进入狭窄的密室空间。 这一切都需要在非常短暂的时间内完成,可以想象邓·波姆一家为了拯救犹太人曾经历了何等恐惧和惊险。

But one of the greatest surprises was that the daughter of the carpenter who had actually built the secret wall unexpectedly happened to be there on that day. She indicated that she had not been a believer as a child, but after hearing the testimony of Corrie ten Boom, she accepted Christ, and later dedicated her life to serving the Jews in Israel, much as Corrie did in Holland. She indicated that, when she returned to Holland to visit her own home, she loved to visit this location, as a reminder of the love of God for the Jews. And for us to meet her that day was a great treat and bonus.
但最令人惊讶的是,建造了密室的木匠的女儿当日恰好在那里。 她表示自己小时候不是信徒,但在听到柯丽·邓·波姆的宣讲后,她接受了基督,并致力于在以色列服务犹太人,就像柯丽在荷兰所做的一样。 她表示,当她回荷兰自己的家乡时,她喜欢来邓·波姆的故居,因为她在此感受到上帝对犹太人的爱。 那一天,我们可以见到她,真是意外之喜。

I am assuming that you have never been to the place, but I guarantee you, this place has more meaning than 10 medieval churches! There should be more reminders of these moving facets of the history of the Holocaust and World War II, against the terrible backdrop of abject misery of the time. It’s also a reminder to us that acts of love by each one of us, in small or big ways, can make an impact against any backdrop of evil.
即使你从未去过邓·波姆故居,我仍可以向你保证,去那里比参观10个中世纪的教堂更有意义! 那里可以折射出二战以及大屠杀中这些让人感动的光辉,同时也提醒我们,每个人的爱的举动, 无论大小,都可以产生正面影响, 即使周遭险恶。