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an honor to give my life

Perhaps you’ve heard of Corrie ten Boom, a young Dutch lady whose family helped hide Jews during the height of Nazi persecution.  After the war, she went on to become a powerful and inspiration speaker and writer.

You may not know much about her family, particularly her father: Casper ten Boom.  While operating a successful jewelry business, he also started a ministry to the poor in Amsterdam.  It was called “For the Salvation of the People.”  When the Nazi’s began their persecution of the Jews and required the Jews to wear the star of David, Casper ten Boom wore one, too.

In 1942 he became an active part of the Dutch Resistance, helping hide Jews as they traveled to safety.  Two years later, the Gestapo raided his house, arresting Casper and his family.  He was 84 years old when they sent him to prison.

Here’s how his last few days are recorded at Wikipedia:

As he was interrogated, the Gestapo told him they would release him because of his age so that he could “die in his own bed”. He replied: “If I go home today, tomorrow I will open my door to anyone who knocks for help”. On March 10, Casper died at the Hague Municipal Hospital at the age of 84 after only ten days in Scheveningen Prison. When Casper was asked if he knew he could die for helping Jews, he replied, “It would be an honor to give my life for God’s chosen people.”

Oh to believe in something so deeply that dying for it would be an honor.