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Corrie ten Boom, her sister, Bessie, and their father run a watch repair business outside of Amsterdam.

The Hiding Place

Although Corrie and her family are devout Christians, their compassion for their neighbors leads to their involvement in a stealthy underground effort to hide and protect Jews. The ten Booms are eventually captured and imprisoned for their "crimes" against the Germans. Corrie and Bessie endure horrific conditions in several concentration camps, all the while sharing their faith with anyone who will listen. The ten Booms are committed Christians who engage in daily Bible reading and who reach out to their neighbors in Christian love even before the German invasion.


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They struggle repeatedly over the question of whether lying to help save a Jew's life is contrary to God's will. Corrie and Bessie pray fervently throughout their prison experiences. They smuggle a Bible into the camp and share God's word with the other inmates. Bessie constantly praises God for her circumstances and pities her cruel German captors because they're so far from God. Many Bible passages appear in the text. Jews frequently engage in friendly religious debates with Corrie's father. Though specific tenants of Hitler's agenda are not mentioned in detail, Nazi beliefs play a foundational role in the story.

Corrie's father demonstrates a deep, abiding compassion for the people in their community. Her parent is selfless even in the most desperate conditions. In many of his conversations with his daughter, Corrie's father exemplifies God's wisdom and love for His children. Though a few Germans are sympathetic to Corrie's cause, most show contempt and cruelty to their prisoners. They mock the captives, force them to parade around naked and subject them to unthinkable physical labor while housing them in rickety, flea-infested bunkhouses.

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God, in many circumstances throughout the book, shows His power and authority to be far greater than that of the German army. Brief descriptions about life in the concentration camp are disturbing, though. For example, while looking for her ailing sister in the hospital, Corrie discovers naked corpses thrown carelessly on the ground. Corrie and Bessie hear the tortured cries of their fellow prisoners, watch the elderly and infirm being sent to the extermination area and hear frequent gunshots as prisoners are executed.

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REVIEW: The Hiding Place

Positive Elements. Spiritual Content. Sexual Content. Violent Content. Crude or Profane Language. Drug and Alcohol Content. Outward from the central space extends a network of storage tunnels, into the floor of each line of which are bored the receptacle wells for the fuel rod canisters. When Onkalo is ready to receive its first deposition, there will be more than storage tunnels, which together will hold the 3, canisters. In their form these tunnels resemble to me the chambers and galleries that boring beetles make under tree bark, creating space in which to lay their eggs and rear their larvae before they kill the tree that feeds them.

Sometimes we bury materials in order that they may be preserved for the future. Sometimes we bury materials in order to preserve the future from them. Some kinds of burial aspire to repetition and re-inheritance storage ; others aspire to oblivion disposal. At the Barbarastollen underground archive near Freiburg im Breisgau, a disused mine has been converted to a safe-house for German cultural heritage.

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More than million images are stored there on microfilm in caskets, more than 1, feet below ground. The archive is designed to survive a nuclear war, and to preserve its contents for a minimum of years. Both of these vaults look forward to a time of future scarcity; both implicitly read the present as a time of plenty. Onkalo, by contrast, is constructed with the desire that its contents never be retrieved.

It is a place that confronts us with timescales that scorn our usual measures. Radiological time is not equivalent to eternity, but it does function across temporal spans of such breadth that our conventional modes of imagination and communication collapse in consideration of them.

Decades and centuries feel pettily brief, language seems irrelevant compared to the deep time stone-space of Onkalo and what it will hold.


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  5. The half-life of uranium is 4. The entrance to Onkalo slopes down into the Earth. When full with waste from the three nearby power stations of Olkiluoto, the storage facility will hold 6, tons of spent uranium.

    But to think in radiological time is also, necessarily, to ask not what we will make of the future but what the future will make of us. What legacies will we leave behind, not only for the generations that succeed us but also for the epochs and species that will come after ours? Are we being good ancestors? The tunnel curls around and back. The air hums oddly. Unseen machines undertake obscure tasks.

    In the first stands a yellow drilling engine, unmanned but with its eight halogen eyes glaring, its drill arms still drooling water. The keys are still in the ignition. The shotcrete chamber roof is slotted with silver and red bolt-plates. New drill holes in the roof weep onto us.

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    The halogen casts hard shadows. The bare walls of the chamber are covered in cave art: spray-paint markings in blue, red, apple green, nuclear yellow. The rock is adorned with numbers, pictograms, lines, arrows, and other codes I cannot decipher. The Greek word for "sign," sema , is also the word for "grave. As plans developed for the burial of radioactive waste, so the question emerged in America of how to warn future generations of the great and durable danger that lay at depth.

    It became important, the U. Department of Energy decided, to devise a "marker system" that could deter intrusion into a repository "during the next 10, years. Two separate panels were convened to consider the issue of the "marker system," reporting to an overall Expert Judgment Panel. Among those invited to express interest in joining the panels were anthropologists, architects, archaeologists, historians, graphic artists, ethicists, librarians, sculptors, and linguists, as well as geologists, astronomers, and biologists.

    The challenges faced by the panels were formidable. How to devise a warning system that could survive—both structurally and semantically—even catastrophic phases of planetary future. Several proposals developed by the panels involved forms of what is now known as hostile architecture, but which they referred to as "passive institutional controls. The panel members realized, however, that such aggressive structures might act as enticements rather than cautions, suggesting "Here be treasure" rather than "Here be dragons.

    Howard Carter excavated Tutankhamun's tomb despite the multiple obstructions placed in the way of access, and the warnings given in languages other than his own. Other proposals from the panels involved versions of a transcendental signifier. Human faces could be carved into stone: pictograms or petroglyphs conveying horror. Munch's The Scream might be taken as a model, it was suggested, on the grounds that it could still somehow communicate terror to whatever being approached it in the distant future.

    Or a durable aeolian instrument might be constructed that tuned the far-future desert winds to D minor, the chord thought best to convey sadness. The semiotician and linguist Thomas Sebeok argued on grounds of futility against the search for a transcendental signifier that could outlast all corruption and mutation.

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    Such a sign did not exist, he said. Instead he proposed working toward what he called a long-term "active communication system" that relayed the nature of the site using story, folklore, and myth. Such a means of transmission—perpetuated by an elected "atomic priesthood"—would be flexible, allowing retellings and adaptations to occur across generations. In this way what began as a simple set of warnings might be reconfigured as, say, a long poem or folk epic, made narratively new for each society in need of warning.

    Those ordained into the priesthood would have the responsibility of "laying a trail of myths about the [burial sites] in order to keep people away. Signage at Onkalo, the world's first permanent repository being built to store nuclear waste for the next hundred thousand years. The plans for marking the site remain under development. Among those advising the project are social scientists and writers of science fiction. Plans for what Gregory Benford has called "our society's largest conscious attempt to communicate across the abyss of deep time" include the following measures.

    First the chambers and the access shafts will be backfilled. Buried in the berm and the earth around it will be radar reflectors and magnets, discs made of ceramic, clay, glass, and metal, engraved with warnings: Do Not Dig or Drill. Set flat near the berm will be a map measuring 2, feet by feet.