The Helpful Clock Maker


Behind the false wall, where people hid in the Ten Boom house
Corrie Ten Boom Museum, via Flickr

Joshua Leo and Liz Waid look at the life of Casper Ten Boom. His life shows suffering, sacrifice and also hope.

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Transcript


Voice 1

Welcome to Spotlight. I'm Liz Waid.

Voice 2

And I'm Joshua Leo. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1

It was a winter day in the Netherlands in the year 1944. That day, an 84-year-old man was arrested. The only reason for his arrest was because he was helping people. The officers did not want to arrest such an old man. They told the old man that they could free him. But he had to promise he would stop helping people. The 84 year old man said,

Voice 3

"If you leave me here today, tomorrow I will open my door to anyone who needs help."

Voice 2

The officers did not release him. Ten days later, he died in prison.

Voice 1

Today's Spotlight is about that 84-year-old man. His name was Casper Ten Boom. He died helping people during World War Two.

Voice 2

Casper Ten Boom lived in a city called Haarlem in the country of the Netherlands. He was a watch and clock maker. He learned how to make watches from his father, and he taught his daughters how to make watches too. He lived in a small house with several members of his family.

Voice 1

Through many years, Casper Ten Boom helped people in need at his house. Children without parents came to live with his family. Other family members also came to live there. Casper was the father of four children. But it was not strange for as many as 15 people to be living in his house. As a Christian, he followed the teaching of Jesus Christ. This teaching said to give to anyone who asks for help.

Voice 2

Casper Ten Boom lived a long and happy life. Everyone knew him in Haarlem, and he had many friends there. He never imagined that helping people would put him in danger.

Voice 1

This changed during the Second World War. The people of the Netherlands expected their country to be neutral. It had been neutral during the First World War. But then Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940. Many things changed for the citizens of the Netherlands.

Voice 2

The German army seized all working age men and sent them to factories to work as slave labor. Then the Germans started hunting a second group of people. The Germans were looking for all Jewish people. They made all Jewish people wear yellow stars on their clothes. Jewish people also had to carry special identification cards. In the Netherlands in 1942 the Germans began sending Jewish people away to special camps. They called them work camps.

Voice 1

But the work camps were not for work. They were death camps. During World War Two, millions of Jews from all over Europe were killed in those camps. Over 100,000 of the Jews in the camps came from the Netherlands.

Voice 2

The head of Germany, Adolf Hitler, hated Jewish people. He blamed all of Germany's problems on Jewish people. After German soldiers invaded a country, they would find the Jewish people and send them to death camps.

Voice 1

After the war began, Casper Ten Boom and his family quickly went to work helping Jewish people. As Christians, they believed it was their duty to always help people in need. Jewish people lived in the Ten Boom house until they could find another safe place to live. Most of the time, they moved out of the city to live on farms. In these country areas, there were not as many soldiers.

Voice 2

The Ten Booms even built a small secret hiding place in one of the rooms of their house. It had a false wall. A few people could stand behind it. If the people could stay quiet and still, they would be safe.

Voice 1

Between 1942 and 1944, over 80 Jewish people lived with the Ten Booms. And the Ten Booms helped many other people too. They were part of over 30,000 Jewish people rescued from the Germans by the citizens of the Netherlands.

Voice 2

On February 28th, 1944 the German Secret Police raided the Ten Boom house. Someone had told the Secret Police what the Ten Booms were doing. Casper was arrested. Four of his children and one of his grandchildren were also arrested. On that day, six people were able to hide in the secret place and avoid arrest. Their lives were saved.

Voice 1

After his arrest, officers gave Casper Ten Boom the chance to go free. But he refused to lie to save his own life. He told the Secret Police that he would help anyone in need.

Voice 2

Ten days after his arrest, Casper Ten Boom died in prison. He was buried in an unmarked grave near the prison. After the war ended, authorities removed his body. This time, he was buried in a war hero's cemetery.

Voice 1

One of Casper's children was released from prison. But four other family members were sent to death camps in Germany. Only Casper's daughter Corrie did not die. Corrie Ten Boom later travelled the world telling what her family had done during the Second World War.

Voice 2

Today it is possible to visit the Ten Boom house in Haarlem. There is still a watch store in the front part of the house. The rest of the house is a museum. There, visitors can see where the Ten Boom family lived. They can even see the secret hiding place.

Voice 1

Visitors to the Ten Boom house are often surprised that the house is bright and open. They are even invited to sit on the same chairs the Ten Booms used. The Ten Boom house is a warm, happy place to be.

Voice 2

The people who keep the Ten Boom house want it to be that way. Terrible things happened during the Second World War and it was a very dark time in many places. Casper Ten Boom and his family were a light in the darkness. Their house still shows that light today.

Voice 1

The writer of today's program was Jeff Munroe. The producer was Joshua Leo. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight.

Voice 2

You can find Spotlight on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. There, you can listen to this program again, and read it at the same time. This program is called "The Helpful Clock Maker." Our website also has many other resources like our word list, more information, and comments from other listeners. You can also find other Spotlight programs - including one about Casper's daughter, Corrie.

Voice 1

You can also receive Spotlight programs every week directly to your computer with the Spotlight podcast. Just follow the podcast link on the Spotlight website - www.radioenglish.net.

Voice 2

If you have a comment or question about any Spotlight program you can email us at radio@radioenglish.net. Or you can leave a comment on the script page of this program. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight radio. Goodbye.

Question:

Have you ever done anything brave to protect someone? Would you ever do anything like this?

Comments


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KyoCloud
said on June 05, 2011

The only thing which I proud of is that I am a Christian, because no matter who I am and how rich and wise I am, I am still a grain in His hand. Yet in his love, I feel so peaceful and hopeful in everything I do——A message from a Vietnamese who realized the love of God——

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Roman
said on June 20, 2012

Hi! My name is Roman. I’m from Russia, Moscow. I’m an Orthodox Christian. I study internal Church relations at postgraduated and doctoral school named after holy and equal to the apostoles Ciryll and Methodios. I would like to finde a penpals for communication.

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kenhieuloilam
said on June 21, 2012

We have responsibilities and duties. We live our lives in love and service. Responsibilities and duties are important to us. We live our lives for good things. Not good things happen and we try much to live our lives well. Not good things destroy the life. We sacrifice much for good things. We build for good things. We believe in good things. Good things exist and bring everyone good things. If the life has good things and not good things we will desire to develop good things and to push away not good things.  Good things develop the life. We are brave to live our lives for good things.

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Narath
said on June 22, 2012

I have never known before and I am very proud of him . He went ahead what he thought it is right. Why he didn’t tell a lie to get out of the prison and then he was able to continue helping others . Cambodia.

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HerShey
said on June 22, 2012

This is the first time I have heard a melting charity story.He is a typical symbol in Netherlands.

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MC.Thanh
said on July 24, 2013

I think the World will be better if there are many people like him.

Luis Piedra's avatar
Luis Piedra
said on July 24, 2013

Hi
Great example of faith and sacrifice that help others people.
Thanks to Casper Ten Boom and family

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georgino
said on July 25, 2013

Well, I canĀ“t understand why the governmets want the power of the world on base to war. They want power and more power. Sombie mind.
Second world war what was the benefit for the people?
We have a war against poverty,  deseases…

Gtings

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Avrora
said on July 27, 2013

The second world was terrible.We must avoid wars and live in piece.

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Avrora
said on July 27, 2013

We must to be kind to everyone like Casper Ten Boom and his family.We must sacrifice ourselves to goodness.

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Dela
said on August 07, 2018

No doubt, all people wish their children could live in the peaceful world without experiencing war, violence, slaughter. The devoted heroes as Casper Ten Boom should never be forgotten because he was able to sacrifice his life to rescue other people in need. Hopefully, the terrible events as Second World War will threaten humans never again in the future!

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Honneur
said on August 11, 2018

I never had so bad experience like that. I think the old man was brave and correct in their actions, but he didn’t thought on his family life. However I don’t know the context they lived, so I don’t can judge.