The Liberator’s Daughter

The Liberator's Daughter book signingA Haunting Historical Memoir
by Deborah J. Levine

The Liberator’s Daughter is a Finalist in the MEMOIRS  Category:
2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
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Rising from their immigrant roots, Estelle and Aaron Levine met as students at Harvard University, fell in love and married during World War II. As a US military intelligence officer, Aaron was deployed to France and Germany where he witnessed the death camps and interrogated Nazi prisoners of war. His letters to Estelle expressed the horrors he saw and the emotional scars they left. Their life-long dedication to Jewish advocacy and education was the result. Aaron’s legacy of letters and family artifacts inspired their daughter to dedicate her life to the Jewish community, Holocaust education, interfaith collaboration, and cross-cultural understanding. Today, Deborah Levine is headquartered in The South, where she continues her work of tikkun olam, repair of the world.


“The Liberator’s Daughter skillfully weaves together the story of Deborah Levine’s GI father at the end of WW II, her family’s Jewish roots in Bermuda of all places, and a shocking treasure trove of Holocaust reminiscences from a total stranger whose story becomes intimately hers. In a fascinating, multifaceted memoir unlike any that you’ll ever read, Levine takes us deep into her family’s unusual history to show how it shaped her own growth as a truly inspiring interfaith, social justice activist. Compelling, uplifting, and unique.”
~Lev Raphael, author
My Germany: A Jewish Writer Returns to the World His Parents Escaped

“Many liberators such as Levine’s father kept their experience largely secret. So the publication of excerpts from his letters is a new important resource for Holocaust education and research…The Liberator’s Daughter also exposes the reader to a whole variety of relevant issues such as immigration, Jewish family life, lack of options facing Jewish survivors at the end of the Nazi era, Holocaust denial, terrorism in our day, and Holocaust remembrance.”
~ John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph. D
Director, Catholic-Jewish studies Program/ Catholic Theological Union
Founding member of the US Holocaust Memorial Council

“This is a moving book, beautifully written, with rich insights in translating a witness to evil into a passion for doing good. Deborah Levine takes us back to her family roots in Poland and the interplay between those who lived in the old country and those who set out for a new life, starting in Bermuda. The central character is that of her father, whose presence looms large even as she describes her own life’s journey to right the wrongs her father experienced during WWII. Baseless hatred and evil can only be combatted by erasing ignorance of the other. Deborah’s passion for bringing disparate communities together in dialogue finds expression in a number of her chosen career paths. Her father’s words, and those of others, appear throughout the book as she chronicles the past and lays the groundwork for her passion and her work.”
~ Rabbi Gary Bretton Granatoor
Former Vice President, Philanthropy at World Union for Progressive Judaism



Introduction: From the Island to the Archives
Chapter 1. The Oblivious Mermaid
Chapter 2. Old World and New Immigrants
Chapter 3. The Original Island Girl
Chapter 4. Yankee Doodle Boychik
Chapter 5. Ground Zero in Poland
Chapter 6. Teenager in Port
Chapter 7. You’re in the Army Now
Chapter 8. Burials in the Village
Chapter 9. Tsunami: Concentration Camps
Chapter 10. Damage Assessment: The German Front
Chapter 11. Aftermath: What Next?
Chapter 12. The Silent Tattoo Goes Hollywood
Chapter 13. Religion and Politics at Harvard
Chapter 14. Survival in Illinois
Chapter 15. Bombs and Denial in Oklahoma
Chapter 16: From Twinkle Toes to Kicking Butt
Chapter 17. Women and Social Glue
Chapter 18. From Chattanooga to Jerusalem and Off a Cliff
Chapter 19. Life, Death, & Reading
Chapter 20. Making the Local-Global Connection
Chapter 21. I’m Telling You


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