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

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  57 reviews
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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Scribner
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Angela M
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Today, January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the day 75 years ago when Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated. I say this every time I read a book on the Holocaust - it is imperative that we think about and remember those who perished at the hands of such absolutely evil people and also remember those who survived, but not only today. Their stories are of the utmost importance and we have to keep listening to and reading them and hearing them because we can’t let this happen ...more
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Adriana Neumann has written the amazing history of her father Hans Neumann and what his family endured during WWll.
Ariana grew up in Venezuela daughter of Hans, a wealthy industrialist, and didn’t even know about her fathers history.
When her father died, she was left a box with all sorts of documents and a picture I.D. of her father, that had a little picture of Hitler on it below his.
From here, she did all the investigating to find out her fathers history.. unbelievable!!
Hans and his family
Elyse  Walters
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“This book is dedicated to the memory of those who could not tell their stories”

THANK YOU, *TAMMY*.... for making sure I didn’t miss this book!

Adriana Neumann grew up in Venezuela.
This book is a tribute to her father, Hans Neumann.
Part literary family memoir... part mystery detective tale....
....a search for answers and the truth: a daughters profound love for her father!!!

What Hans experienced during the war was horrendous and monstrous.
He could never speak about it.
It was only after Hans
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a marvelously well written memoir of Neumann’s father. Hans was a Venezuelan industrialist of Czech descent, understandably scarred by his experiences during WWII which he refused to speak of. After his death he left his daughter a box of photographs and papers about his life in Berlin during WWII as a Jew hiding under the noses of the Nazis. Piecing together her unknown family members’ experiences (and worse) during the holocaust was a courageous, over decades long undertaking and is as ...more
Craig Fehrman
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got to spend some time on the road with Ariana when we were both promoting our books. She's a brilliant and elegant person, and she's written a brilliant and elegant book. I don't want to spoil too much, but the real-life underpinnings for her memoir are incredible. There are mysteries and twists and heart-breaking realities that surpass anything most of us could make up. But what makes this book so special is that Ariana takes that raw material and elevates it with her lyrical writing and ...more
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.

When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann is both a puzzle to be solved filled with family secrets from the past and a memoir that acts as a testament to the love of family. Growing up Ariana didn't know anything about her father's past, but once he passes on she finds a box he left for her filled with documents with a picture of her father under another name and
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Memoirs are always hard to review since you’re not evaluating character development, pacing, etc. So, I’ll focus on the writing and the overall picture Ariana Neumann is painting.

When Time Stopped is Ariana Neumann’s research into her father’s past after finding a box of documents that once belonged to him. After combing through the documents and talking to family members she didn’t know were related to her, When Time Stopped paints the picture of a Jewish family doing everything in their power
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I lived in the Czech Republic, my name would be Zuzana Škývarová. While I'm actually English/Irish, I fell in love with my husband, Zdeněk, and, after getting married in Prague, I have happily adopted some of his Czech traditions and culture. I've learned to make excellent bramborový salát (potato salad) and rohlíčky (sugar cookies). And I love spending time with my large extended Czech family on our biannual visits to Europe. All of which makes it far, far too easy to experience this book ...more
Janilyn Kocher
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Marcia Biggs
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received the advance copy and read it in 2 days. I couldn’t put it down! What an incredible story, not only of one man’s survival of the Holocaust, but also of the journey his daughter takes to piece together his story without him and to come to terms with the revelations she uncovers. Meticulously researched, the details she unearths give the story the richness and texture of a novel. At times devastatingly painful and at other times full of light, beauty, and hope, it was an entrancing read.
David V.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 10-13-19. Finished 10-17-19. Excellent memoir of a young Venezuelan woman's search for her father's history of living through WWII in his homeland of Czechoslovakia and through terrors in Germany. Starting with a box of documents, letters and photos, she begins her research into her family's past and discovers the loss and gain of family members. She learns the details of dozens of her relatives, most she didn't know existed. Perseverance kept many ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, digital, 2019
Outstanding. I really enjoy the honesty, clarity, and journey itself that Ariana Neumann takes readers on in her novel. In these pages you will find heartbreak, confusion, growth, and so much love. Reading about the Holocaust comes on many styles, and in this novel you will experience the raw, undiluted story of one family, and the things taken from them, over decades of time.
I would like to thank Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.
Emma Bleasdale
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most thought provoking memoirs I've ever read, written with descriptive detail of an immensely talented new author. I am looking forward to reading all Ariana Neumann has to write.
Gabrielle Belisle
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautiful, intimate, breathtaking and heart breaking. It reads like a novel and yet gives a better sense of what was happening to Jewish families during the Holocaust than any history book I've read. I feel so invested in the Neumann family and their friends, as if I know them personally. More than anything, my takeaway from this book is the love and hope that was so clearly poured into it.
Cosima Carter
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant memoir. Ariana Neumann's journey to discover her father's history is both a breathtaking tale of intrigue and a devastating memoir of a family decimated by the Nazi regime. A fascinating book.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.5 Stars.

Powerful and moving memoir. The author did an incredible job finding long lost relatives and family friends as well as documents to discover her family’s history of loss and love especially given the language barriers and time (as well as secrets) passed. But, this was truly a love letter to her father and his family, whose stories had been erased by evil but will soon be told to the world.

I received an arc from the publisher but all opinions are my own. I’m hoping the finished copy
Michelle Kidwell
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When Time Stopped
A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains

by Ariana Neumann
Biographies & Memoirs
Pub Date 04 Feb 2020

I am reviewing a copy of When Time Stopped through Scribner and Netgalley:

In 1941, the first member of the Neumann family arrested in the German Occupied Czechoslovakia was taken prisoner by the Nazis, his crime was bathing in a part of the river that the Jews were not allowed to use. He was transported to Auschwitz and eighteen days later his prisoner number was
Rick Buttafogo
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are no words that can do justice to this book. My heart hurts at the same time it bursts with joy that Arianna Neumann was able to find so much about her family. The unimaginable tragedy that took place in this world only 75 years ago is something my mind struggles to comprehend. Human beings...said to be the most civilised on the planet, yet something like the Holocaust happened based in the worst kind of hate imaginable. I can’t even imagine not having my grandparents nor my great aunts ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Ariana Neumann’s debut memoir, WHEN TIME STOPPED, delves into the silent past of her father and reveals a vibrant life and family she never knew. While Neumann’s father, Hans, grew up in Czechoslovakia, he moved to Venezuela after surviving WW2. Hans built an industrial empire in Venezuela, where Ariana grew up, but was quiet about his past and his family.

Hans leaves a box of documents for his daughter after his death. Among the pages is an
Megan (readingretriever)
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads, 2020-arcs
When Time Stopped Rating: 5/5
Simply put - this book is SUPERB.

If you are a fan of historical fiction or powerful memiors, When Time Stopped is a must read. As a reader, you follow along as Neumann uncovers letters, documents, and photographs that slowly reveal what her father's family's life was like both before and during WW2 in Czechoslovakia. I especially loved the inclusion of Ella and Otto's letters that were smuggled out of Terezin. And Han's writings about his time in Berlin both
Terry Scott
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very moving insight into a jewish family trapped in Nazi occupied Europe
Marnie Stetson
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This memoir should be on everyone’s “must read” list for 2020. Ariana Neumann tells of her quest to understand the story of her father and his family. As a child in Venezuela, her father never talked about his childhood or his life before emigrating to Venezuela, and Ariana knew not to ask, but a decades-long quest to understand her father’s past unfolds like an artfully-constructed mystery. Despite the sadness and horror of his life during World War II, the book is a tale of courage and love, ...more
Amber Stewart
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
It was a really great and emotional read. I would highly recommend reading this book! It was a powerful read.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you NetGalley, Simon & Shuster and Ariana Neumann for an ARC of When Time Stopped in exchange for an honest review. It is hard for me to give feedback on this book. Any book written about the Holocaust and especially a memoir deserves praise. These stories MUST be told. The research that went into this memoir is fascinating and Ariana Neumann must feel so accomplished to finally find out what happened to her family. I found myself struggling to get through this book mainly because of ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my. This book is just stunning. It is at once two true stories- the first, the story of a young girl who spends decades sleuthing a mystery, and the second, the amazing story of a Jewish family's love, commitment and perseverance though the second world war and Nazi occupation.

The book begins by laying the groundwork of the author's childhood and her father as she knew him. It picks up considerably as the pieces of the mystery of her father's life are revealed- tiny piece by tiny piece. The
Aurelie Berry
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully written memoir of a Czech family during the rise of fascism and the holocaust. In her quest to uncover her father's past, the author unlocks a myriad of stories about life in Central Europe in the 1930s. The book is incredibly well researched and reads like a detective story. The level of detail is such that it brings her family and their friends back to life. But what makes this book different and so special is the humanity that permeates it throughoutand that rises above ...more Biography & Memoir
A daughter with an instinct for investigation uncovers her father’s past in WHEN TIME STOPPED, a moving saga of war and the Holocaust.

Ariana Neumann was a lucky child, growing up in Venezuela, the daughter of an ingenious, entrepreneurial father whose professional life brought prosperity. Yet his private life remained mysterious. The girl’s mother often cautioned her not to ask Hans about his troubled past, and to ignore his sometimes somber, even fearful demeanor. The first real clue,
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 childhood, but
So this book isn’t out yet, I won’t spoil it for anyone. But this is probably the most moving, beautiful memoir I have ever read.
The author embarks on a journey to fill in the background of her father’s past during Nazi war time, prompted by the contents of a box of trinkets and letters he left to her.
There are photos! The photos and the very personal moments that are mentioned brought me to tears but I’m fairly emotional.
The subject matter itself was not easy to read so I cannot imagine the
Jose Eloy
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ii is unusual to find a testimony of the the Nazi holocaust that describe the details of a family life like the Neumanns who were victimized so horrendously. Many books describe the horror in general or statical terms. But this book tells us how the family progressively loses its way of life and is unjustly punished and ultimatelly, many of them, killed. The letters written by Ella and Otto from Terendstat show how they fight to keep their dignty intact, knowing that their chances for survival ...more
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Ariana was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She has been researching her family history, tracing people, uncovering untold stories and solving the mysteries of her father's past for over a decade.
Her memoir When Time Stopped (Scribner, February 2020, Argo CZ, May 2020, Les Escales FR 2020) tells her journey of discovery about her father’s unlikely survival after hiding in plain sight in Berlin during