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When Time Stopped : A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains
by Ariana Neumann




Overview -
In this astonishing story that "reads like a thriller and is so, so timely" (BuzzFeed) Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father's past: "Like Anne Frank's diary, it offers a story that needs to be told and heard" (Booklist, starred review).

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.

A "beautifully told story of personal discovery" (John le Carr ), 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, and this "gripping, expertly researched narrative will inspire those looking to uncover their own family histories" (Publishers Weekly).

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Overview

In this astonishing story that "reads like a thriller and is so, so timely" (BuzzFeed) Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father's past: "Like Anne Frank's diary, it offers a story that needs to be told and heard" (Booklist, starred review).

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.

A "beautifully told story of personal discovery" (John le Carr ), 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, and this "gripping, expertly researched narrative will inspire those looking to uncover their own family histories" (Publishers Weekly).

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781982106386
  • ISBN-10: 1982106387
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: November 2020
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.65 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Book Clubs: November 2020

Four memoirs explore family tensions and long-held secrets that ripple across generations.

Acclaimed memoirist Dani Shapiro was very close to her father, Paul, who died when she was 23. After a DNA test revealed that Paul wasn’t her real father, Shapiro’s world was turned upside down. In Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love, Shapiro writes about searching for her biological father, who donated sperm to a clinic that her parents visited for fertility treatments. It’s an electrifying story, and Shapiro uses it as a springboard into explorations of identity and selfhood, family ties and the human need for closure. Honest, tender and moving, her memoir combines a stranger-than-fiction plotline with insights readers will savor.

Ariana Neumann provides a riveting account of her Jewish family’s experiences during World War II and the extraordinary life of her father, Hans Neumann, in When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains. Hans spied for the Allies in Berlin before going on to make his fortune in Venezuela as an industrialist, but the author didn’t learn about Hans’ past until after his death. Her book is at once a suspenseful tale of survival and a poignant tribute to her father.

In A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father, David Maraniss tells the story of his father, Elliott Maraniss, who led a unit of Black soldiers during World War II and was accused of being a communist in the 1950s. Maraniss was under FBI surveillance and was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, losing his journalism job as a result. In crafting a moving narrative of his father’s life during an era of fear, the author explores themes of patriotism and loyalty, racism and activism. He blends history with personal narrative to create a richly rewarding memoir.

Megan Phelps-Roper came of age in the conservative Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. As a zealous member of the congregation, she opposed homosexuality, espoused anti-Semitic views and became known for engaging critics on Twitter. But after her viewpoints shifted, she broke away from the church, a journey she documents in Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving Extremism. Phelps-Roper writes with unflinching honesty about questioning long-held beliefs and the process of building a new life. Book clubs will encounter substantial topics for discussion in her courageous, hopeful narrative.

 

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