Anita Dittman was a ballet prodigy with the natural ability that made her a star before age ten. She was also a Jew in Germany when Adolf Hitler had just taken power.
Anita still vividly recalls hearing a newspaper review of a memorable performance that said this:
“The dance was beautifully performed by six year old Anita Dittman. Her skill and grace at ballet far exceed her years. Nevertheless, we Germans no longer wish to be entertained by a Jew.“
She explains the shock that she felt at those words, but also tells of the great hope that she had found in the midst of the chaos into which her country was descending.
“I thought my world was coming to an end. My mother was sympathetic, but she said, ‘Honey it’s going to keep happening. It’s not going to get any better. We have to be strong.'”
“And this all happened before Jesus came into my life. Then, after Jesus came into my life, I tried to be brave. Sometimes there would be back flashes, but my mother said, ‘Anita you have Jesus now, so rely on him.'”
Although her loved ones began to disappear, Anita avoided being taken to a camp for some time.
“I was fifteen when the principal stopped in my classroom and said, ‘Dittmam – pack up all your things and meet me in the hallway. I have something to give to you.'”
“When I came out, I looked at the letter from the Gestapo informing me that – due to my Jewish heritage – I was permanently suspended from school, and the principal added to it and he said, ‘It’s high time that the Nazis are cleansing our school system of riffraff such as yourself.'”
“I just gasped as he talked, but it was a, ‘Look who’s talking. Don’t fall apart Anita.'” It was two months later that I was drafted into what they called forced labor. My mother had already been drafted into it several months prior, but one thing was wonderful. We were on the same shift.”
“One blessing, and there were many blessings that God had given me, He had given me a very agile body. In the Nazi schools physical education was very emphasized and I was built for it. God gave that to me to prepare me for the heavy labor that lay ahead.”