By Laura Adelmann
MINNEAPOLIS – Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, with its messianic characterizations – the photographs in which a halo was cast around his head, the worship-like adulation from crowds – gave Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman nightmares.
About Adolf Hitler.
The petite 86-year-old over the weekend told a riveted audience at Olive Tree Ministry’s “Understanding the Times” conference it’s because she sees clear parallels between Nazi Germany and present-day America.
A young girl in Germany when Hitler came to power, Dittman said her experiences amplified the alarm she felt.
Her miraculous story of God’s overwhelming providence that preserved her life despite brutal Nazi persecution is told in the soon-to-be released and uplifting WND documentary film “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell.”
A 20-minute preview of the film, which was produced by WND founder, Editor and CEO Joseph Farah and directed by WND Films Vice President George Escobar, premiered at the conference where Dittman revealed her concerns for America.
The movie and companion book of the same name are to be released May 6.
Dittman said her nightmares were triggered by the left’s gushing adoration of Obama as a perceived savior.
Establishment media were equally enamored with Obama and failed to vet him to the American public, as most famously exemplified by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who described experiencing a “thrill up (his) leg” when he heard the then-candidate speak.
The media’s infatuation helped cultivate the atmosphere that ushered Obama into the most powerful office on earth.
Establishment media reporters didn’t question his qualifications or competencies; conservative news outlets that investigated his birth certificate were openly mocked.
Media also never asked him hard questions about his disturbing history of close associations with communists and terrorists that included Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, she said.
Liberals’ blind idolization of Obama mirrored Germany’s hypnotic fascination with Hitler, Dittman said of the racist tyrant whose vitriolic rhetoric dehumanized the Jewish people as a prelude to his attempts at total annihilation.
Obama’s empty rhetoric that energized his followers chilled Dittman, who compared it to lies peddled in Germany painting promises of a bright future.
“It’s a similar time,” Dittman said. “We are financially in a problematic time. So was Germany. Hitler came in, and he made himself the savior, and people ate it all up because he made it sound wonderful how he would straighten everything out … and that is happening today, too.”
In America, the people treated Obama like he was heaven-sent.
Journalist Barbara Walters admitted last year during an interview with Piers Morgan that media members saw him as their god.
“We thought that he was going to be – I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime – but the next messiah,” Walters said.
As in America, Dittman noted that when Hitler swept into power, the country was facing economic hardship, and the people wanted someone to soothe their worries and usher in prosperity.
Obama’s promises included no tax increases on the poor, a five-day waiting period to sign bills so people could read them and creation of the most open and transparent administration in history.
Instead, Obama’s scandal-riddled presidency has included rushed spending bills, increased taxes affecting all and an administration that strategized to sic the IRS and Department of Justice on conservative groups.
In Germany, Hitler focused on the people’s emotions, offering them promises of prosperity: good jobs for the many unemployed, a return to stability and security.
He held massive rallies, featuring marching bands and banners, all organized, orchestrated and broadcast to the masses, commanding audiences with appealing messages and empty promises.
“The only promise Hitler ever kept was killing the Jews,” Dittman said.
The state of America’s churches also concerns Dittman, who said German churches fell away from the Bible before Hitler came into power.
She said many American churches are likewise walking away from the truth of Scripture, turning from biblical truths and opening the door to deception.
“That’s how Hitler got into the churches,” she warned.
Hear some of Dittman’s comments:
Conference host Olive Tree Ministries Director Jan Markell agreed.
She also cited comparisons between Nazi Germany and America, including the country adopting socialized medicine, banning prayer from school and a growing fascination with mystical spirituality.
Markell said Hitler was fascinated with mysticism, because “he knew it would crumble the Christian faith.” She warned that Christian churches in America are likewise trying spiritual traps such as walking the labyrinth, “Christian” yoga and contemplative prayer.
Conference speaker pastor Skip Heitzig emphasized the importance of Israel and the Jewish people to God, noting that without the Jews, there would be no savior.
Dr. Erwin Lutzer emphasized how the Jews have been persecuted and are still facing persecution today.
He cited concerns that Christian churches in America are being turned into Muslim mosques. He encouraged Christians to be brave, strong in their faith and witness to Muslims, because God has brought them to Christians’ doorsteps.
Speaker Eric Barger of Take A Stand! Ministries also cited concerns about where the country is headed.
“Some generations are going to live in the perilous times,” Barger said. “And. I believe it’s us.”
During the 12 years Hitler was in power, Dittman suffered the kind of persecution she fears is in America’s future.
As a child, she was bullied by peers and teachers, publicly ostracized and condemned. She eventually was forced with her mother into the Jewish ghetto, where they lived in fear as they witnessed roundups, constantly battling starvation before and after being sent to a concentration camp.
Her story, as written by Markell and told in the WND documentary, portrays atrocities Dittman endured but leaves audiences uplifted, because of her constant focus on God and His amazing hand of protection over her.
“Anita has always been one who gives all the glory for her survival to the Lord,” Markell said. “And it was a daily survival, too, between 1933 and 1945. She had to call on God for supernatural wisdom (and) supernatural, just incredible, insight to escape, to survive. On and on and on, one scene after anther.”
She survived a Nazi nurse’s repeated diabolical attempts to kill her, was protected when forced out in the open during the bombing of Dresden, was provided protective “angels” in critically dangerous situations and, above all, given the grace to understand God’s wisdom in the verse she often quotes, Romans 8:28:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
Dittman’s testimony left a lasting impression on Ashley LeClair of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
The 28-year-old transportation sales representative said hearing Dittman’s story is significant because it brought to life the history that she has only previously known through black-and-white photographs.
“Seeing how God brought her through those events and how God was with her every moment of every day was inspiring,” LeClair said. “And God is still using her today as she tells that story. Regardless of your situation, God is always with you.”
LeClair also said she was disturbed to hear the comparisons between Nazi Germany and America.
She worries that not enough people are paying attention to the signs of the times or realize how closely things that have happened in America mirror Nazi Germany.
“I think there are a lot of people in America who don’t pay attention and don’t care to know the details,” she said.
She called for Christians to be informed and take a stand when they see things happening that they know are wrong instead of being intimidated into watching society take steps away from the biblical values that built the country.
“Starting with government, we have made certain decisions that parallel Germany back then,” she said. “It starts small, but all these acts that are passing little by little that are really changing the course of America. I think it’s very scary and really traumatic to see if that is where we’re headed.”
Tyler Agness, 20, of Coon Rapids said Dittman’s story was inspiring because of the strength of her faith.
“God carried her through everything, and she held on that whole time,” he said. “God has totally blessed her with everything she has gone through … she gave me hope.”
Dittman said she never wants anyone to feel sorry for her but instead praise God for his obvious protection on her life.