The Hiding Place Discussion Questions

Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

The Hiding Place gives the true story of a family that defies the Nazis during WII. Here you will find intriguing discussion questions to use with your students after reading the novel.

The Ten Booms

The story of Corrie ten Boom surviving Nazi labor camps is one of which readers have been captivated by for decades. Her lessons of keeping her faith, having genuine kindness, and giving true forgiveness during unthinkable suffering touch every reader, no matter his or her faith.

Here you will find stimulating questions to use in your classroom after having read this inspiring novel.

Theme Questions

  • Discuss the role of faith in the ten Booms family. Why do you think they continued to believe so strongly in spite of the challenges that they faced? What lessons does Corrie learn throughout her experience due to her faith?
  • What is worth sacrificing your life for? Why do the ten Booms risk hiding Jews who are fleeing the Nazis? What are the consequences and how does the family believe they are a part of God's plan?
  • What were the dangers of racism, prejudice, and stereotyping during WWII? What sort of laws and rules were enacted in Holland during the occupation based on these beliefs? Are these concepts still alive today? What can one do to promote tolerance, understanding and acceptance?
  • Corrie tries to hide the Bible while she is in prison. Then she decides not to worry about it, stating, ''this was not my business, but God's.'' Do you agree with her? Do you personally worry too much about things? Have you ever given up worrying over something and let God, or fate, handle it? Should we all do this?
  • Corrie states the worst temptation in camp life was to think only of oneself. Why did she state this? What were some examples of this? What ways does this temptation take form in your life? What rationalizations do you use to excuse it? If there is terrible evil in this world, do your secret sins really matter? Explain.

Character Questions

  • Describe the household of the ten Booms in the years leading up to the war. Who else lives there? Describe the personalities of the aunts. How is Corrie different from her siblings?
  • Corrie has to cope with being alone in prison and ''prison boredom''. Describe how she copes. What role does the bible play? If it were you, would you risk having the Gospels? Explain.
  • In chapter 12, we see several differences between Corrie and Betsie's beliefs. Betsie says, ''if people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love!'' and ''How dreadful he must be suffering'' (in regards to Jan Vogel). Corrie, on the other hand believes she walks on solid earth and has a burden of rage concerning Jan Vogel. Which side do you stand on? Are you more of a Betsie or a Corrie? Do you think Corrie and Jan Vogel ''stand together before God convicted of the same sin of murder''? Explain.
  • What problems does Corrie have coexisting within her faith and the Resistance Movement? Give two specific examples from the novel of her faith contrasting her duties in the Underground. What does this tell us about Corrie's character?
  • Who is Otto? Describe his personality. Why does Casper end up firing him? Describe the situation when the family sees him again years later. What is his role in the story?

Symbol Questions

  • At the end of chapter 1, Corrie uses a metaphor of a shadow. Explain what the shadow is and how it began. Connect this to the later invasion and occupation of Holland. How does this shadow change the ten Booms lives?
  • At the very end of chapter 2, Casper gives advice to Corrie about death. What does he say? What is the metaphor he uses? Would these words comfort you when faced with death? Explain.
  • In chapter 14 we learn why the girls should be thankful for fleas. What do you think of this? Should we all be thankful for negative things, even if we can't see their use? What could the fleas be a symbol of?
  • There are two visions in the novel. One is Corrie seeing her family being led away from their home. The second is Betsie seeing the house and rehabilitated camp. What is your opinion of these? Do you believe in visions? What could they represent?

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