How to use this site    About Us    Submissions    Feedback    Donate    Links - School Assemblies for every season for everyone

Decorative image - Secondary

Email Twitter Facebook


The Hidden Room

The life of Corrie Ten Boom

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider the importance of standing up for those in need.

Preparation and materials


  1. Remind the students of the game hide-and-seek, which many of them will have enjoyed when they were children. Perhaps they still do!

    Emphasize the need to keep still and quiet when playing hide-and-seek, especially when the seeker comes close.

  2. Ask the students whether any of them have heard of a woman called Corrie Ten Boom.

    Explain that you are going to tell the true story of her life.

  3. Show the slides as you tell the students about Corrie Ten Boom.

    Show Slide 1.

    This is Corrie as a young woman.

    Show Slide 2.

    This is Corrie with her family. Here, we can see her with her mum and dad, her two sisters and her brother.

    Show Slide 3.

    This is Corrie with her two sisters, Betsie and Nollie. Betsie is on the left, Nollie is in the middle and Corrie is on the right.

    Show Slide 4.

    The family lived above this shop in Haarlem, Holland. Corrie’s dad was a watchmaker and Corrie also learned this skill.

    Show Slide 5.

    Corrie’s family were Christians and they read the Bible together every day. The slide shows the Bible at Corrie’s house, which is now a museum.

  4. Explain that the Ten Booms were very happy together until the Second World War broke out. Soon, the family became concerned about some of the things that were going on. In 1940, soldiers invaded Holland. Many Jews were rounded up and taken to concentration camps.

  5. One day, a Jewish woman with a baby turned up at Corrie’s house and pleaded for help. Corrie and her family knew the dangers of helping Jews, but they also knew that what was happening was wrong. They showed compassion for this mother and her baby, and agreed to take them in. This was the beginning of Corrie and her family hiding many Jews.

  6. After a while, the family built a secret room inside Corrie’s bedroom. Hundreds of Jews hid there in the months to follow.

    Show Slide 6.

    This shows the wall in Corrie’s bedroom cut away to reveal the secret room behind.

    Show Slide 7.

    This shows us how those hiding in the room got in and out.

    Show Slide 8.

    This shows the inside of the hidden room. It would have been very cramped with lots of people in it.

  7. Explain that sometimes, the family would hold a practice drill, a bit like the school fire drill. One of the family would press a buzzer and everyone would have to clear up and hide in the hidden room as fast as they could. The aim was to be hidden in one minute. For a long time, the soldiers didn’t know that people were hiding in the house. God kept them safe.

    However, one day, the soldiers found out what Corrie and her family were doing. They arrested the entire family and sent them to prison. At the time, there were six Jews in the hidden room, but the soldiers didn’t find them. Later, they were rescued from the room and escaped.

  8. Show Slide 9.

    Eventually, Corrie ended up in Ravensbrück concentration camp. This was a horrendous place to live, and many people were killed or died due to the terrible conditions. The soldiers were cruel and their actions inhumane. However, Corrie found that God was her hiding place even in prison. When she spoke to him in prayer and read the Bible that she had smuggled in, she found comfort and peace, which she shared with other people in the camp.

Time for reflection

Show Slide 10.

This is Corrie many years after she was released from Ravensbrück. She is back in her bedroom!

Show Slide 11.

Again, this is a picture of Corrie in later life. She lived until the age of 91. After the war, she travelled around the world, explaining to people the importance of forgiveness and love. She forgave the people who had treated her and her family so badly.

There is a verse in the Bible that says, ‘You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.’ (Psalm 32.7)

Corrie believed that God was her hiding place.

Ask the students, ‘What do you think this verse means? Why do you think Corrie believed that God was her hiding place?’

If possible, allow the students to discuss these questions in groups and then listen to their responses.

Show Slide 12.

One of Corrie’s famous sayings is: ‘There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.’

Ask the students what they think this means and how it applies to Corrie’s life.

If possible, allow the students to discuss these questions in groups and then listen to their responses.

Corrie and her family were very brave. They cared about others and stood up for people who were being treated badly, even though this put them in danger. What can we learn from this?

Pause to allow time for thought.

How do we react when others are being picked on or bullied? What can we learn from the story of Corrie Ten Boom?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
Thank you for the life of Corrie Ten Boom and for all that she did to help others.
Thank you for all those who have acted to help and protect those in need.
Please help us to stand up for those who are being treated badly in our world.

Publication date: May 2022   (Vol.24 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
Print this page