Excerpt from The Hiding
by Corrie Ten Boom
"Life in Ravensbruck took place on two separate
levels, mutually impossible. One, the observable,
external life, grew every day more horrible. The
other,the life we lived with God, grew daily better,
truth upon truth, glory upon glory.
"Sometimes I would slip the Bible from its little
(sack) with hands that shook, so mysterious had it
become to me. It was new; it had just been written.
I marveled sometimes that the ink was dry...I had
read a thousand times the story of Jesus'
arrest--how soldiers had slapped Him, laughed at
Him, flogged Him. Now such happenings had faces and
"Fridays--the recurrent humiliation of medical
inspection. The hospital corridor in which we waited
was unheated and a fall chill had settled into the
walls. Still we were forbidden even to wrap
ourselves in our own arms, but had to maintain our
erect, hands-at-sides position as we filed slowly
past a phalanx of grinning guards.
"How there could have been any pleasure in the sight
of these stick-thin legs and hunger-bloated stomachs
I could not imagine. Surely there is no more
wretched sight than the human body unloved and
"Nor could I see the necessity for the complete
undressing: when we finally reached the examining
room a doctor looked down each throat, another--a
dentist presumably--at our teeth, a third in between
each finger. And that was all. We trooped again down
the long, cold corridor and picked up our X-marked
dresses at the door.