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Evangelical Holocaust Survivor Says Mockery of Birtherism A Sign That Obama Is Like Hitler

From WND:

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.

Dittman’s “nightmares” were apparently triggered by what she regarded as the media’s over-inflated and uncritical view of Obama in 2008, including the detail that:

Establishment media reporters didn’t question his qualifications or competencies; conservative news outlets that investigated his birth certificate were openly mocked.

A photo on the WND website shows that audience members, with questionable taste, donned yellow stars for the proceedings.

Olive Tree Ministries (the plural is the correct form)  is the primary vehicle of Jan Markell, a veteran apocalyptic Christian Zionist. The line-up at the conference included Erwin Lutzer of the prestigious Moody Church in Chicago, as well as George Escobar, who heads WND film productions – and Dittman is the subject of a new WND DVD, entitled Trapped in Hitler’s Hell. Thus, once again we see mainstream evangelicalism and Christian Zionism converging with the hateful and absurd excesses WND‘s anti-Obama conspiracy-mongering – WND, it should be recalled, brought us the claim that Obama orchestrated the Sandy Hook massacre, while WND editor Joseph Farah has suggested that Obama used a speech at Buchenwald to send a secret message to Muslims signalling his intention to continue the Nazi holocaust – and that’s just a sample.

Dittman and Markell have been partnering for many years: Markell edited Dittman’s testimony into a book that was first published in 1979 by Tyndale House as Angels in the Camp: A Remarkable Story of Peace in the Midst of the Holocaust. The work describes how Dittman, who was the daughter of a Jewish mother and an “Aryan” father, was in 1944 sent to a forced labour camp north of Breslau (1). The scholar Yaakov Ariel places it within a genre of Christian Holocaust memoirs that “portray the behavior of evangelical Christians through the war years as exemplary, a proof that the acceptance of Jesus as a savor guarantees correct moral behavior, courage, and an ability to survive spiritually, if not physically” (2). A juvenile fiction version of her story, Shadow of His Hand by Wendy Lawton, was published by the Moody Press in 2009, as part of a series entitled “Daughters of the Faith”.

Angels in the Camp was later re-issued as Trapped in Hitler’s Hell: A Young Jewish Girl Discovers the Messiah’s Faithfulness in the Midst of the Holocaust, and to accompany the new DVD, it has now been re-published as a “WND Books Classics”. The cover shows a stock image of the gateway into Auschwitz, and there’s a foreword by the creationist Ray Comfort. Comfort and Joseph Farah have both opined that the Holocaust was facilitated by the theory of evolution.

As Terry Krepel notes, Dittman is not the first figure who lived through the war to be promoted by WND as having special insight into how Obama is like Hitler – up until his death in 2012, another favourite was a ex-Hitler Youth member named Hilmar von Campe. More on him here.

However, Dittman is not a new recruit to the anti-Obama speaker circuit – indeed, her fear-mongering over Obama’s popularity already sounds hopelessly out of date. In 2009 Brannon Howse of the Worldview Weekend Foundation produced a DVD in which she  explained how “America is going down a dangerous road that looks all too familiar to what she witnessed in Germany”.

***

(1)  The book names the location as “Camp Barthold”, and Dittman was forced to dig ditches against the Soviet advance. I assume this means that Dittman was in one of many subsidiary camps of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp (itself a satellite of Sachsenhausen); the creation of ditches to protect Lower Silesia was known as Unternehmen Barthold, or “Operation Barthold”, and several camps were established in the Milicz region for this purpose.

(2) See his An Unusual Relationship: Evangelical Christians and Jews (New York University Press, 2013), p. 164