It was seven decades ago, but some who lived through the hell created by Adolf Hitler in Europe remain to tell their stories.
One is Anita Dittman, who will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Understanding the Times spring conference April 26 at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minn.
Her story also is being told in “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell,” a new project from WND Books, and in a WND Films documentary by the same name that explains how the winds of Nazism swept through Germany and scorched the continent with the blood of millions.
The documentary, according to Director George D. Escobar of WND Films, tells a story that is more than a history, a profile or a biography. It will be introduced at the conference.
“It’s rare to see two people, Anita Dittman and [conference organizer] Jan Markell, so much in synch with one another,” Escobar said. “Their collaboration produced a timeless book and now a documentary.
The movie, Escobar said, “not only recounts the horrors of the Holocaust, but forever reveals the spiritual journey of a young Jewish teen.”
“She yearned to know God personally. And God obliges her. Her faith is tested time and again, and grows stronger and stronger as she comes to know Jesus as her savior,” he said.
Escobar said that Markell, as Dittman’s co-author, “captures perfectly the turmoil of Germany before, during, and after World War II.”
“More than that, she takes Anita’s personal narrative and makes it universal and contemporary,” he said.
“We can see history vividly through the eyewitness of Anita, and draw parallels with today’s assault on liberty and ongoing persecution of the Jews,” said Escobar.
The conference also will feature Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Church in Chicago; Skip Heitzig, pastor of Calvary Chapel in Albuquerque; and Eric Barger, an apologist, author co-host of “Understanding the Times” radio.
Markell is founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, which sponsors the annual event.
Dittman’s story has lessons that remain relevant.
“The book carries a stark message for today’s Western Christian,” wrote Leo Hohmann. “Germany was a Christian country and a democracy that was transformed into a dictatorship because the vast majority of Christians placed their trust in one man to lead them back to the promised land of economic prosperity and respect on the world stage.”
Dittman was raised by a Jewish mother, and by the time she was 8 was trusting in Jesus as her Messiah. At age 10, the war began.
The book, an updated edition of the original, includes a special author’s note about how the world has changed since the first edition and how Americans need to continue to be diligent not to forget the atrocities against the Jews, lest history repeat itself.
The book and movie are to be released May 6.