The Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940.
Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps.
Corrie and Betsie were Christians and they decided to help as many Jews as they could.
We were two middle-aged, unmarried women and somehow we were running an underground
operation to help Jews! We lived in a tall and unusual house above our watchshop,
and we built a secret room where Jews could hide when soldiers came to the house.
Corrie and Betsie developed a code for telephone
calls to the Dutch Resistance to help smuggle Jews to safety.
We would say we have a womens watch here that needs repairing,
which meant a Jewish woman needed a hiding place but we couldnt find one among our usual contacts.
For nearly 4 years Corrie and Betsie helped around 800 Jews escape.
Then, one day, they were betrayed by an informant and arrested.
My family sent a letter and underneath the stamp were the words All the watches
in your closet are free. So I knew that the Jews we helped were safe,
and the Nazis hadnt found them. That was a great joy to Betsie and me.
Corrie and Betsie were taken to a German concentration camp called Ravensbruck.
Roll call was at 3:30am. The sisters had watery soup once a day and worked long hours.
Our barracks were overrun with fleas - they were everywhere, in our mattresses, our clothes.
But Betsie reminded me of a Bible verse that says
give thanks in all circumstances. So we would even thank God for the fleas!
God helped Corrie and Betsie smuggle a Bible into the camp,
and the two sisters started bible studies and held secret services.
The guards never came in because there were so many fleas. God helped us tell
so many prisoners about his love that is stronger than the evil in Ravensbruck.
Betsie became very weak and sick. Yet she encouraged Corrie to keep asking God for help.
She told me of her dream to set up a home for all those who needed help after the war.
Betsie died in December 1944 and Corrie was unexpectedly released 2 weeks later. After
her recovery, Corrie opened Betsies dream rehabilitation home to help camp survivors.
The biggest challenge came after church one Sunday where Corrie had spoken about forgiveness.
I recognised a guard from Ravensbruck, but he didnt remember me. He said How grateful I am
for your message Fraulein. To think, that as you say, Jesus has washed my sin away!
And I, who had spoken so often about forgiveness,
felt angry. But I knew Jesus had died for this man. I prayed Jesus, forgive me. I cannot
forgive him. Please help me. And he answered my prayer and helped me forgive this man.
Corrie spent nearly 3 decades travelling around the world,
writing books and speaking about Gods help to forgive even the darkest of evils.