On day 3 i visited a town called Haarlem, this is another pretty town (ok, you are getting the idea lol…Holland is a beautiful place to go and visit). The history of Holland is worth reading up on. This town was occupied by the Germans during World War II, and so has a story to tell. To learn a bit of it’s history we visited a house /museum at Barteljorisstraat 19, 2011 RA Haarlem called the Corrie Ten Boom House. This was originally a watch shop and home (the home is attached behind and above the shop) that was lived in by Corrie Ten Boom and her family. She was a Dutch Christian who, along with other family members, helped Jews escape the Nazis during World War II. Her family acted as a ‘safe house’ and refuge for Jews during the occupation. A secret room was built in Corrie’s bedroom to hide the Jews in. It was small (no wider than a young man’s shoulders and long enough to hold 6 people (cramped). A buzzer was also installed to alert everyone of danger. Hundreds of Jewish people were saved by this family. Ultimately, Corrie and her family were arrested after being betrayed by a fellow Dutch countryman. The day they were arrested Corrie had been ill and was in bed. The man who betrayed them came to the house seeking help from her family to get his wife released (whom he said had been arrested). He said he needed money and knew that they helped Jews, so could they help him. He was sent upstairs to see Corrie. Though she said there was something odd about the man’s eyes, she offered to help. He left the house and later the Nazis came to the house. Fortunately Corrie and her family had enough time to hide the Jews who were in the house, in the secret room. The Nazis came, arrested Corrie and her family and searched the house for the Jews, but didn’t find the hiding place (which was behind a solid wall with access via a linen closet). The family were taken to concentration camps and all died except for Corrie. (The 6 Jews, who were hiding in the house, were later rescued by the Resistance 3 days later). Corrie was released unexpectedly soon after her sister died (10 months after they were arrested) and just before the Nazis made a new rule of sending all women over 45 years to the gas chamber (Corrie was 50 years old). As a Christian Corrie could see God’s hand in all that happened and, while her sister was alive, was continually reminded by her sister that Jesus is Victor (they had a plaque on the wall in their house that reminded them of this as they grew up) and that one day they would tell the world their story and what God had done for them during this time. As i mentioned, only Corrie survived but she spent the rest of her life travelling around the world and sharing her story of Jesus’ victory. This is a great place to visit, you will see the small space the Jews hid in and also have a tour of the home. Entry and tour is free and the tour lasts about an hour. You will find the entry to the house behind the watch shop, be there early as they only let in 20 people at a time for a tour.
The rest of my time in Haarlem was spent looking at shops etc. went into my first Lush store (lol ok this information is probably only for you female readers), great place and the prices are considerably cheaper than in America.