From a Neo-Nazi to a Lover of Israel – Dawn’s story

(Photo credit: Facebook - Lovers of Israel)

“Therefore, thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.” (Isaiah 60:11)

I don’t usually write real stories. If I take a pen in hand, I most often prefer to get a message across through a work of fiction. This time, however, I am making an exception, to bring you the testimony of a woman that I’ll be referring to as Dawn. The reason that I have offered to tell her story, is not because of my eloquence in writing, but because Dawn is a woman who does not speak Hebrew, and I believe that her story is one that should be shared with the people of Israel. Frankly, I feel that I have a divine calling to do so.

Before I begin, it is important for me to note that I did not add to, nor subtract anything from her story. I am relaying this story to you, exactly as it was told to me.  What you are about to read, does not come from my imagination; but from the mouth of Dawn, herself.

There are many parts of this story that may sound strange; some things might seem confusing and others, uncomfortable to the Jewish ear. I am not going to try and convince you of the veracity of this supernatural story, instead I simply want to share with you, what I believe to be a credible testimony of an incredible woman and her amazing, life-changing encounter with God.

“I wanted to kill the Jews,” she told me in English -which is not her native language- “But today, I love the Jews and want only to help them.”

As soon as I heard what she said, I decided that I had to hear the story behind this dramatic life turnaround. It was a warm, spring day and the sun was setting; the weather was smiling at us, so I invited her to sit outside. As we took our seats across from each other, I was so eager to hear what she was about to tell me, that I felt as if I were in a movie theatre. The only thing missing at that moment, was the popcorn.

“I used to be a neo-Nazi,” she began. “For several years I was immersed in Nazi ideology. It all began, after a movie that I watched one night, at home. I don’t mean to say that the film was pro-Nazi, nor did it glorify, or praise the actions of Hitler, but as I watched, I realized that I wanted to side with the “bad guys”. I was fascinated by the power of the Nazis; their flamboyant parades, the order and the brutality that flowed from them; it all just pulled me in. As time went on, my interest continued to grow stronger and stronger, until I had adopted these ideologies as my own.”

Dawn was quick to warn me: “You do not know how much power there is in a motion picture; how much power media has to influence people!” She repeated, “Unclean spirits seek to take advantage of us. They can use so many various avenues to lead someone down the wrong path!”

I nodded in agreement, signaling her to continue.

“I wanted to kill the Jews. I hated them for no good reason. It was a hatred that stemmed from nowhere, but it certainly was real.”

“You took an active part in a neo-Nazi organization?” I asked.

“I really wanted to join a gang of neo-Nazis at the time, but fortunately, God did not allow it and for that, I am very grateful. I do not want to know what would have happened, had I joined such a group,” she said honestly. “I took a history course at my university, wanting to learn as much about the Second World War and Nazism, as I could. It was the only thing that truly interested me at the time.”

“And how long did you go on believing in this destructive world view?”

“From the age of 12… until the age of 18, when my life changed.”

“Yes, please tell me.” Intrigued, I urged her on.

“I was working on a computer in the library -something related to my studies- when suddenly the computer glitched. I tried to press the ESC button a thousand times, ‘ctrl-alt-del’, well, you know…  all that you do when you screw up your computer. I finally just shut it off and turned it on again. When the computer restarted, I saw references to verses of the Bible show up on the screen. The verses were from Daniel, Matthew, Luke and Revelation and each one spoke about the antichrist. ”

“What do you mean? They just showed up, after you restarted the computer?” I asked.

“The computer was on a website, unrelated to anything I had previously been browsing. I don’t know how it got there, but it piqued my curiosity. I had nothing to do with the church; I had never opened a Bible in my life, and God was certainly of no interest to me. Yet, when I got home, I opened a copy of the New Testament that my mother had given to me when I was little.”

“Your mom – was she a Believer?” I asked.

“No, she wasn’t a Believer.”

She then continued, “I decided to look up the Bible verses that I had seen, but was only able to find the references from Matthew, Luke and Revelation, because I only had a copy of the New Testament.
While I was reading, I began to wonder about the authenticity of the Bible and the reality of God’s existence. It was at that moment that it happened to me: Suddenly, I saw a light! It was bright white and blue. I know now, that it was an angel. I was in shock. I did not understand what was happening. The angel stayed in my room for about 10 seconds and then disappeared. After it left, I remained frozen in a state of shock and fear, confused by what I had just seen. Before I had much time to think, I suddenly felt as though something was holding me to my bed. I could not move at all and when I looked up, I saw the cross of Jesus in front of me… in front of my bed. I was immediately filled with deep remorse for all my sins and for my diabolical way of life.  I began weeping… and then, the cross too, like the angel, disappeared. ”

As she spoke, I sat and listened, spellbound.

“… The room was very humid. My bed was soaking wet. I had no idea what had just happened! I suddenly wanted to find a Bible. I had to find out what was written in the book of Daniel! I wanted to know what the last reference I had seen on the computer was about. Since I only had a copy of the New Testament at home, I tried to think of where I could go to find one. As you know, the continent of Europe is largely Catholic, so I automatically thought to go to the Catholic Church, hoping that maybe there I could find access to a Bible. So indeed, I visited one church, but no one was there, and it was very dark. ”

“About two or three weeks after the incident, I noticed a pastor that was evangelizing on campus, at my university. He came up to me and asked me if I knew Jesus. I told him, “Yes, I know Him; I met him three weeks ago.” He was quite taken aback by my response and all he could think to say at the time was: “Can I pray for you?””

I laughed and Dawn smiled. This was obviously not the answer that the pastor had expected.

“He invited me to visit his congregation, but I was very reluctant to agree, as it was not a Catholic church, and in the country that I come from, if a church is not Catholic, it is looked down upon. He told me that the next week would be Passover and that they would be holding a barbecue. After hearing this, I changed my mind. ”

Again, we stopped to laugh for a moment.

“So, I went, as I promised. -There was pork at the BBQ, but I didn’t know any better at the time… –  While I was there, I was finally able to get my hands on a Bible and read the last of the verses that I had seen, from the book of Daniel!
Since that first Passover visit, I have been released from my sins, my past mistakes and all of the hatred that I had allowed to build up in my life. I also gathered together all the material that I had on Hitler and the Nazis, including the book Mein Kampf and burned them in a huge fire; all for the glory of God!  And that’s how God took my hatred towards the Jews and Israel and began to turn it into love.
From there, my love just grew and grew. My pastor could not understand what was happening to me and suggested that maybe I needed to fly to Israel. I realized that he was right and so from then on, I began to pour all of my heart into travelling to Israel and helping the Jewish people wherever and whenever I could. This is now my 14th visit!”

I could only sit and marvel at the works God had done with this woman, and at how her life had turned 180 degrees.

“What did your family think about this turn of events?”

“My parents are divorced, and I have a brother and sister who did not live at home, at the time. I lived alone with my mother and shortly after she learned about my newfound faith in the God of Israel, she rushed to drive me out of the home.”

“Your mother?! For 6 years you read Mein Kampf and she didn’t say a word, but when you opened the Bible, she suddenly decided to expel you?!” I was shocked.

“She gave me a month to find a new place and get out of her home,” she sighed. “She was indifferent to my existence for most of my youth … But I still love my mother and I’m not angry with her. God tells us to honor our parents.”

“And now; how is your relationship now?”

“Not everything is perfect, but with time she grew to understand that my love for Israel is not a bad thing, and once she even chose to join me on one of my trips… she really enjoyed it! Her eyes were opened on that trip. She later told me everything was so different from what she had always heard reported in the news.”

I took a moment to digest all that I had just heard. She was a bit confused by the silence and smiled. Finally, I said: “Writing is a hobby of mine and it would be a huge honor for me to share your story with the world. What do you think?”

“I … I think it’s okay,” she said.

Dawn has worked in government positions in her home country and there are many who would like to hire her for her services in Israel, but Dawn chose a humbler path and currently volunteers in an institution for autistic children, in Jerusalem. Dawn sought to keep her identity secret, and I’m honoring her request.

It was important for me to share with you, Dawn’s testimony. Her story touched my heart and I felt a strong need to share it with my Hebrew-speaking brothers and sisters. It is truly amazing how God purifies hearts and changes the lives of people from head to toe. There may be readers who do not believe in God and will consider me a fool, and my interviewee a lunatic. There will certainly be those who will shout: “apostates!”, but the bottom line is that Dawn is just one, among countless other gentiles, who is willing to contribute to the nation of Israel and the Jewish people, because of her faith in the Bible and in Jesus Christ.

Update: This article was originally translated from Hebrew and has recently been revised, to improve it’s readability in English (Jan, 2018).