Betsie ten Boom

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Betsie ten Boom
Born Elisabeth ten Boom
(1885-08-19)19 August 1885
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died 16 December 1944(1944-12-16) (age 59)
Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, Germany
Cause of death Pernicious anemia
Resting place Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, Germany
Residence Haarlem
Nationality Dutch
Other names Known by family as Bep, Beppie
Education Through local secondary school
Occupation Bookkeeper, homemaker
Employer Father, Casper ten Boom
Known for Holocaust, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom
Home town Amsterdam
Parent(s) Casper ten Boom and Cornelia Johanna Arnolda ten Boom
Website ten Boom Museum

Elisabeth ten Boom (1885–1944) was a Dutch woman, the daughter of a watchmaker, who suffered persecution under the Nazi regime in World War II, including incarceration in Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she died aged 59. The daughter of Casper ten Boom, she is one of the leading characters in The Hiding Place, a book written by her sister Corrie ten Boom about the family's experiences during World War II. Nicknamed Betsie, she suffered with pernicious anemia from her birth.[1] The oldest of five ten Boom children, she did not leave the family and marry, but remained at home until World War II.[2]

Congenital pernicious anemia

Ten Boom suffered with a case of pernicious anemia. This case is believed to be caused by a malfunction of the gastric juices of intrinsic factor during the nine weeks before birth. Her illness prevented her from bearing children, so she chose, at a young age, not to marry.[3]

Career and education

Ten Boom was educated in the local primary and secondary school until the age of 15. She remained at home to work with her father in his watchshop where she served as the bookkeeper. She also cooked for their family.

Her younger sister Corrie later took over the bookkeeping role when ten Boom caught influenza. Ten Boom then began housekeeping and continued to do so until her Nazi detention.


The ten Boom family belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church and believed strongly in the equality of all people before God. One of the brothers was a minister and the sisters had been active in charitable work before the war. During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the family began to hide numerous Jews and resisters in their home, and built a secret room to protect them.

In 1944, the family and other people at the house, about 30 in all, were arrested for their resistance activities and taken to Scheveningen prison. The six Jews in hiding at the house were not discovered and survived, with the help of other Resistance workers. Father Casper ten Boom became ill and died 10 days later at the prison. A brother, sister and nephew were released.

In June, 1944, ten Boom and her sister Corrie were sent to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. Ten Boom's strong faith in God kept her from depression throughout her life and especially within the camps. Corrie told of how ten Boom reached out to help others and helped Corrie to see the best in everything, no matter what the circumstance.

Before her death, ten Boom experienced three visions from God about what she and Corrie were to do after their release. She believed they would be released by the New Year. Her first vision was of a house for former prisoners. The second was to own a concentration camp where they could teach Germans to learn to love again. The third was that she and Corrie would travel the world telling what they had learned of God while in the camps. ten Boom died in Ravensbruck on 16 December 1944, at the age of 59. Her sister Corrie was released due to a clerical error, and went on to set up the projects that ten Boom had seen in her visions including traveling the world to speak about her faith.

Ten Boom and her father, Casper, were honored by the State of Israel in 2008 as Righteous Among the Nations. Her sister Corrie had been honored previously.



  1. "The Hiding Place". Bantam Books, New York City: 1984.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "In My Father's House". Hodder & Stoughton Religious, London, England: 1976.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The Hiding Place". Bantam Books, New York City: 1984.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Corrie ten Boom, Betty Veldhuvzen van Zanten (2008). Wat Vrienden Zeggen Over Corrie 1. tantecorrietenboom.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links