When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains

February 6, 2020 - Comment

In this remarkably moving memoir Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father’s past: years spent hiding in plain sight in war-torn 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

In this remarkably moving memoir Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father’s past: years spent hiding in plain sight in war-torn 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, traveled 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.

Comments

Anonymous says:

Best thrilling and touchy story Thrilling and touching story. Very well written by amazing writer Ariana. You cannot miss this book.

Anonymous says:

Fantastic I adore family mysteries and investigative stories in search of family history. Neumann’s book hit the mark. As a girl, growing up in Venezuela, the author was fascinated with her father’s watch collection and his obsession with time. She knew next to nothing about his past until after his death. She painstakingly pieced together his story but also his extended family’s incredible story, scouring the globe for kernels of knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, enhanced by the documents and…

Anonymous says:

incredible memoir that is part history part detective story Ariana Neumann’s story is quite incredible! My own mother has been working on our family tree for years, and I know how many hours, days, years it takes, and how amazing it is to find lost family members, and fascinating it is to learn so much more about our heritage.When she was growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, Ariana’s father, Hans Neumann, kept a tight lid on his past. Ariana knew that he had grown up in the Czech Republic, and over the years he gave her a few peeks into his…

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