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Gated Grief: The Daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator Discovers a Legacy of Trauma

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Leila Levinson's experience as the daughter of a WWII veteran speaks to a more universal experience--the trauma of war as it wreaks havoc over generations. It is a touching story of search, revelation, and recovery.
Paperback, 266 pages
Published January 31st 2011 by Cable Publishing (first published January 2011)
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Facing truth is rarely easy, and in Gated Grief, Leila Levinson faces many hard truths about her childhood, the horrors of the Nazi death camps and how silence prevents healing. The photos in the old Army trunk found by the author after her father’s death could have been thrown away or locked back away. Instead she used the pictures to inform her journey to discover the reasons for her father’s emotional distance.

Today’s soldiers are aware their experiences with the trauma of war can and do cau
I picked this up hoping to increase my understanding of the unimaginable horrors of the ‘Final Solution’, the Nazi euphemism for the Holocaust. Like most, I had a vague idea of the unbelievable carnage that occurred in the concentration and extermination camps of Nazi Germany during World War II but really did not fully understand this most horrific event. How it could be allowed to happen is beyond belief.

Ms. Levinson is the Jewish daughter of a surgeon, who as an American G.I. was one of the c
Zohar -
“Gated Grief: The Daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator Discovers a Legacy of Trauma” by Leila Levinson who started the charity Veteran's Children is a non-fiction book about the author’s five year research to understand her father’s trauma from liberating a concentration camp in World War II. The book is filled with graphic pictures which will stay with you for a long time.

“Gated Grief” by Leila Levinson is a powerful book which follows the author’s search to find the truth about her fa
I couldn't put this book down. It is a fascinating story (by an Austin author) about discovering that her father had been among the US soldiers who liberated a concentration camp after WWII. This one is not to be missed--and should help us all remember why we have to stop wars.
Margaret Klein
I was fascinated by this book. An in-depth look at the grief and trauma that GIs who liberated concentration camps, provides an excellent manual on trauma and PTSD. Even more important is the attempt to understand what this trauma did to the children of the liberators. Like work done with children of Holocaust survivors, we learn that many children had a hard time understanding mood swings, silence, uneven parenting. However, the author really didn't uncover the answers to her question. For her, ...more
How does one combine memoir, ethnography, self-discovery, and history, while contributing to two important bodies of literature—Holocaust and psychotherapy—in an eminently readable book? Do what Leila Levinson has done in Gated Grief: The Daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator Discovers a Legacy of Trauma (Cable Publishing, 2011). The breadth of her project is evident even in the awards it has won—one for women’s memoir and the other for military writing. But its reach is greater than tha ...more
The extent of Hitler's reach ..., February 28, 2011

While I am always searching for new releases of World War II books, "Gated Grief" caught my eye because it addressed a topic that I had never really considered ... the lasting impact of the Holocaust on those who liberated the concentration camps. While expecting a somewhat broad approach to the subject matter, I quickly realized the basis for the book was much more personal and deep in nature. Leila Levinson's search for answers to her own chil
Carol Schultz Vento
Gated Grief is an extremely well written book about how World War II veterans dealt with the trauma of war. The Greatest Generation paradigm has led to the misunderstanding about the prevalence of PTSD in World War II combat veterans. Just like veterans of subsequent wars, the WWII soldier came home with invisible psychological wounds. However, American society did not acknowledge the reality of psychic harm from the 'good war'; therefore few of those veterans obtained the help they needed. Not ...more
Kathleen Rodgers
WINNER - Military Writers Society of America 2011 President’s Award

The writing in “Gated Grief” is so compelling and so well executed that it reads like the best fiction. Yet this is a true story. You step into the author’s shoes and take on her persona.

Once I started reading Leila Levinson’s award-winning book, I couldn’t turn away, even if I’d wanted to. This first person narrative held me captive. With every page I turned, I got so caught up in the story that I felt like I was shadowing the
In Gated Grief, Leila Levinson shares with readers a glimpse into what her father, Dr. Reuben Levinson witnessed, while treating patients in concentration camps. As well as life for Leila growing up a daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator.

Be warned as the pictures in this book are not for the faint at heart. Some are really hard to stomach only for the fact that they are images of real events that took place to many innocent people. I have been fascinated by books on the subject of the
Joyce Faulkner
2011 MWSA President's Award to Leila Levinson!

The sun was shining when I finished Leila Levinson's brave book,"Gated Grief." I turned off my Kindle and gazed into the eyes of my little red poodle dog.

"You okay, Rosie girl?"

She whimpered and scurried into my lap. I caressed her soft top knot and stared out the window at my neighbors going about their everyday chores.

I used to think that everyone else lived normal lives--and I was the only boomer who grieved over horrors that happened before I
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
After their father's death, the author and her brother come across an Army trunk with memorabilia from their father's WWII experience. Included in this trunk are photos of the war, and, most disturbingly, photos obviously from a concentration camp that are labeled "Nordhausen".

Although Ms. Levinson's brother initially took possession of the trunk, it found it's way back to the author. When she summons up the nerve to open it again and look through the photos, it starts her on a path to chronicle
I love German history; it was one of the reasons it was my major in college. The country has had such a unique perspective on its place in the world, to put it mildly, that I have always been intrigued by the thought process behind their actions. I decided a long time ago that if I were to ever have obtained my PhD as an educator, I would have studied WWII and the impact of the concentration camps on the local populations. So, when Tolly at PR By the Book approached me about reading Gated Grief, ...more
Tejas Janet
As expected, an extremely intense book. I had to approach reading this book in a single, focused time period. For me, this seemed the best way to absorb the material most effectively. It was honestly also a 'containment strategy' -- a way of limiting my exposure to the inherent pain and unbearable grief necessarily involved in confronting the incomprehensibility of this massive genocide occurring within our recent human history, having taken place within many people's current lifetimes.

I find i
Curt Bozif
An honest and deeply personal memoir about the reverberating effects of a war on the child of a war veteran and Nazi death camp liberator. Levinson provides numerous insights into how traumas of the past can become manifested in the lives of the second generation, not only as a lingering depression, but also in the form of nagging question, a fantasy, an obsession, and self-reproach. As the son of a Vietnam veteran in the midst of writing about his own struggles with his father's past, Levinson' ...more
Carolyn Schriber
One of the most powerful examination of the holocaust I have ever read. What makes Levinson's work different from the rest is viewpoint. We've all read about the victims and their stories; Levinson looks at the liberators and the horrors of their own discoveries. As I read, I kept wondering which ones suffered most: those who lived and died in those camps, or those who discovered the camps and then had to live the rest of their lives with those scenes embedded in their minds.
Really gripping and fascinating examination of the GIs who liberated the concentration camps. None of them seemed to talk about their experiences. In our tell-all day and age this is strange to me, so I read this with a lot of interest. I've always been interested the the concentration camp genre and this is an excellent addition. Lots of very graphic photos that I'd never seen.
Excellent treatment of a topic that needs more attention. Generational trauma, dissociative trauma, secondary trauma and where they intersect. Her research with little or no academic support was impressive. My impression is that it could have been even better if a larger publishing house had gotten behind this book for the editing and for the distribution it deserves.
I did enjoy this book and am glad I read it, however it was not as good as I expected. I think the book does a fairly good job of looking at the effects of grief across generations. I learned a few things about the Jewish US Army soldiers and their efforts to liberate the camps. I would really like to give it 3.5 stars.
PK Reeves
3.5 stars Levinson's search leaves you emotionally awakened. See review Aisle B
Barbara Marincel
Really helped me understand what my dad, a WWII vet and also a concentration camp liberator, went through.
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