The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place Summary and Analysis of Chapter 9: The Raid

Summary:

 

On February 28th 1944, Corrie awakes to the sounds of people putting their belongings in the hiding place for the day. Although she has been in bed for two days with influenza, Betsie summons her downstairs to meet with a man from Ermelo. Corrie makes her way down slowly, noticing the Wednesday prayer meeting through her fever, before coming seeing the man. Without making eye contact, he tells her that his wife was arrested and they have been hiding Jews. He needs 600 guilders to bribe a policeman to set her free, and Corrie wonders why he will not look at her. She cannot turn him away and sends Toos to the bank.

Once again in her bed, Corrie is disturbed by the sounds of the warning buzzer and running. As people dive into the cupboard, Corrie realizes that this is not a drill. Finally, Mary Itallie makes it up the stairs, wheezing as she crawls into the cupboard, before a visiting resistance worker jumps in too. Corrie throws some incriminating documents into the hiding place and then places her prison bag in front of the bookcase. She prays for Mary to stop wheezing, when Gestapo members enter her room. She is asked her name and told to get dressed quickly. Corrie reluctantly leaves her prison bag in front of the hiding place entry, not wanting to draw attention to that space.

Downstairs, Corrie sees Father, Betsie, and Toos in the dining room with three underground workers and the “Alpina” sign knocked from the window. The agents easily find the stash of Jewish religious items and jewelry, which Jews have been leaving there for protection. One agent called Willemse tells his cohort Kapteyn to begin questioning Corrie, whom they say is the ringleader. Kapteyn shouts at Corrie, asking where the Jews and ration cards are. When Corrie answers that she does not know what he means, he beats her until she cries out for Christ’s help. Kapteyn says he will kill her if she says that name again.

While some agents bash in the walls looking for a secret room, another answers the doorbell to Corrie’s dismay. Someone had replaced the “Alpina” card, which signalled safety. This messenger shares the Pickwick was arrested, before the agents arrest her too. Now the Beje is a trap for everyone who enters, whether they are involved in resistance work or not. When the agents find the radio, Kapteyn asks them what the Bible says about obeying the government. Father says “Fear God and honor the Queen.”

More people who are not involved, like customers and an elderly missionary couple, enter the shop. When the phone rings, Willemse forces Corrie to answer. Although she attempts to warn them with an unusually businesslike greeting, several fall into the trap. When no secret room is found and word is out that the Beje is a trap, the agents decide to surround the house, until the people in the secret room come out or die. The Gestapo marches the ten Boom family to the police station.

For hours the people, thirty-five in all, must give names and addresses to the agents. Peter warns her not to trust a fellow watchmaker, who is a Gestapo plant in the prison. Rolf van Vliet informs Willem that everyone should flush incriminating documents down the toilet. Father holds evening prayers and recites scripture from memory, including “Thou art my hiding place and my shield.” After a wakeful night, everyone must take an old city bus to an unknown destination. Corrie recalls the vision she had about leaving Haarlem with Willem, Nollie, Pickwick, Peter, Betsie and Father.

Analysis:

The raid brings the climax of Corrie’s Underground activities. With the end of the Beje operation comes the end of the physical hiding place, in the upstairs bedroom. Corrie’s tone in chapter nine is one of confusion and distress. Through the haze of Corrie’s fever, she feels shocked and devastated that her family has been caught. Through the rest of the narrative, Corrie struggles to forgive the man who betrayed her family to the Gestapo.

Immediately, issues of trust come into play when the man from Ermelo visits. Corrie learns later that this man, Jan Vogels, turned them into the Gestapo after they fall into his trap. Betrayal is a constant and major theme for Corrie, who must cope with the pain of being tricked by one of her own countrymen. The raid on the Beje represents only a small portion of the Underground’s sacrifices for the sake of other people. Corrie’s operation grew too large, too dangerous and someone took the advantage of the opportunity to seek favor and rewards from the Nazis.

In the Haarlem prison and in the Hague headquarters, Corrie experiences the frustrating bureaucracy of the National Socialism State. One the one hand, the government takes names, addresses, and occupations to be organized and efficient. On the other hand, the waste of time tortures the prisoners who await their sentences. Ultimately, the Third Reich was not a successful regime and the inefficient bureaucracy Corrie experiences testifies to this failure

In part the endless bureaucracy of the prison conveys the setting and pace of chapter nine. Corrie’s tone is panic-stricken and exacerbated. Additionally, chapter nine spans one of the shortest periods of time, second to the birthday party, covering only two days or so. Corrie packs a lot of detail in the chapter. However, nothing major happens after the raid on the Beje. Therefore, Corrie conveys the sense of interminable waiting, which she experiences in Gestapo holding area.

Corrie’s frustrating wait is made worse by the fear of the unknown, which preys on her fevered brain. Corrie’s fate remains unknown to her and the fear creates a lot of anxiety in her. Therefore, Corrie takes comfort in the realization of her vision about the wagon, which takes away her family to an unnamed destination. Once, again fate returns to Corrie’s narrative, giving Corrie courage and peace of mind.