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When Time Stopped

When Time Stopped

A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains

by Ariana Neumann

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 01/03/2020

RRP  $32.99 $26.75

In this remarkably moving memoir Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father's past: years spent hiding in plain sight in wartorn Berlin, the annihilation of dozens of family members in the Holocaust, and the courageous choice to build anew.

In 1941, the first Neumann family member was taken by the Nazis, arrested in German-occupied Czechoslovakia for bathing in a stretch of river forbidden to Jews. He was transported to Auschwitz. Eighteen days later his prisoner number was entered into the morgue book.

Of thirty-four Neumann family members, twenty-five were murdered by the Nazis. One of the survivors was Hans Neumann, who, to escape the German death net, travelled to Berlin and hid in plain sight under the Gestapo’s eyes. What Hans experienced was so unspeakable that, when he built an industrial empire in Venezuela, he couldn’t bring himself to talk about it. All his daughter Ariana knew was that something terrible had happened.

When Hans died, he left Ariana a small box filled with letters, diary entries and other memorabilia. Ten years later Ariana finally summoned the courage to have the letters translated and she began reading. What she discovered launched her on a worldwide search that would deliver indelible portraits of a family loving, finding meaning, and trying to survive amid the worst that can be imagined.

When Time Stopped is an unputdownable detective story and an epic family memoir, spanning nearly ninety years and crossing oceans. Neumann brings each relative to vivid life. In uncovering her father’s story after all these years, she discovers nuance and depth to her own history and liberates poignant and thought-provoking truths about the threads of humanity that connect us all.

Biography: historical
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Simon & Schuster Ltd
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):

"When Time Stopped is a beautifully told story of personal discovery, of almost unimaginable human bravery and sacrifice, and a harrowing portrait of living, dying and surviving under the yoke of Nazism."
John Le Carre 

"When Time Stopped is Ariana Neumann’s journey of discovery, lyrically set down in this truly exceptional book. She shines an intimate light upon a time unique in its horror, and tells a story of bravery, and rare survival. Yet the events she describes happened more than two decades before she was born. To a man to whom she was very close, but whose secrets she was only able to pursue after his death - thanks to the one hoard of evidence he never destroyed. This is a work of very great talent."
Jon Snow, journalist and Channel 4 television presenter.

"Ariana Neumann's story may strike a chord, and rightly so. The slow and pitiless brutality that took hold of much of Europe in the 1930s is a story that can never be told too often. What makes this account so effective is that it’s personal and, because of the dogged extensiveness of her research, Neumann reminds us of the small details that make the Nazi persecution of the Jews all the more chilling. It's not always a grim story. Alongside anger and despair there is love and hope. But the message is stark. This is the way bullies work. When Time Stopped is more than just history. It's a warning."
Michael Palin

"Grippingly readable, chillingly sad but above all deeply sympathetic and suffused with love and understanding throughout. A compelling and humane portrait of Ariana Neumann's father and his courageous decision to survive."
Anne Sebba, bestselling biographer and historian

"When Time Stopped is a remarkable and beautifully written book. Hans Neumann's story is astonishing, confirming that when it comes to the Holocaust we should expect only the unexpected. This is one of the most powerful and profoundly moving family stories of the Holocaust to have been published in many years and a must read."
Professor Dan Stone, Professor of Modern History and Director, Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London

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