Nazi Death Camp Survivor Responds To California School's Ban On Popular Holocaust Book

| SEP 30, 2014 | 2:20 PM
Holocaust Survivor

A charter school in California is stirring up major controversy after banning a popular book about a woman who helped saved Jews during the Holocaust.

Fox News has more:

Springs Charter Schools in Temecula, Calif., not only had a problem with “The Hiding Place,” they also took issue with any other book that was written by a Christian author or included a Christian message.


“We do not purchase sectarian educational materials and do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves,” Superintendent Kathleen Hermsmeyer wrote in a letter to attorneys at the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI).

“The Hiding Place” is a best selling book written by Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom, a woman who even after living in a concentration camp made it her life's work to help rehabilitate other survivors.

Hiding Place

I had the opportunity to talk with my friend Alter Wiener (a Holocaust survivor who wrote his own book about his personal story surviving the Nazis) and here's what he had to say about the ban:

The papers or TV do not bring good news. Violence, corruption, prejudice are on the top of the news. I am saddened and frustrated and feel like reading something uplifting. I had been inspired reading The Hiding Place twenty years ago. The book came to my mind now when I am eager to find a source of light in the darkness. While reading it, for the second time, I gained a respite from exposure to the disparaging current events. Being riveted to The Hiding Place, I am hiding ephemerally from the ominous world.


In today's modern culture selfishness prevails, youth show no respect for the elderly. The ten Boom family's moral conduct is the antidote to the corrupted people in today's society.


As a Holocaust survivor, I just don't understand how somebody wishes to ban a book such as The Hiding Place that has a message of love and compassion, and banned the book because of its Christian message of love and tolerance.

In addition, the Pacific Justice Institute has threatened to take legal action if the ban isn't reversed, citing that is a violation of the 1st Amendment. Perhaps the school can just reverse the ban and allow the readers the freedom to choose what they want to read.

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