Ariana Neumann – When Time Stopped


In this remarkably moving memoir Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her fathers 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 34 Neumann family members, 25 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 Gestapos eyes. What Hans experienced was so unspeakable that, when he built an industrial empire in Venezuela, he couldnt 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 enthralling detective story and an epic family memoir, spanning nearly 90 years and crossing oceans. Neumann brings each relative to vivid life. In uncovering her fathers 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.

Author: Ariana Neumann
Narrator: Rebecca Lowman
Duration: 10 hours 6 minutes
Released: 20 Apr 2002
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Language: English

User Review:

neighbor fearless

I heard about this book on Dani Shapiro’s Family Secrets podcast, otherwise I doubt this would have crossed my radar despite how much I read about The Holocaust. Neumann’s book, however, stands out as one of the best I have read because she tells her father’s very unusual story of how he survives as a Czech Jew during WW2. Part of the story is her investigation, over the course of years, of his life before and during the war–during her father’s lifetime, he says almost nothing. She doesn’t even know he’s Jewish, but he leaves Neaumann a box of papers upon his death, which is how she starts to unravel his story.

As for the audio narration…excellent, but I wish they had chosen a narrator with an English accent because the author has an English accent.