When Time Stopped
As a child in Venezuela Ariana Neumann was fascinated by the enigma of her father Hans. He seemed to be the epitome of strength but he also wakes at night screaming in a language she doesn’t understand, then she stumbles across an old ID where he has a different name. New York Times bestseller When Time Stopped – described as “a beautifully told story of personal discovery, of almost unimaginable human bravery and sacrifice” by John Le Carre – is the resulting family memoir. From papers Hans leaves her when he dies, Ariana meticulously uncovers his extraordinary story, spanning continents and 90 years, including his escape from Nazi-occupied Prague, his astonishing choice to assume a fake identity and his bravery in living out the war undercover in Berlin, spying for the allies. She comes to Jewish Book Week to discuss what The Guardian calls a “remarkable history of how a Jewish survivor hid in plain sight at the heart of the Third Reich”.
“Ariana’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 the dogged extensiveness of her research. It’s not always a grim story. Alongside anger and despair there is love and hope. When Time Stopped is more than just history. It’s a warning.” Michael Palin
© Serena Bolton Ariana Neumann was born and grew up in Venezuela. She previously worked as a foreign correspondent for Venezuela's Daily Journal and her writing appeared in The European. She currently lives in London with her family. When Time Stopped is her first book.
Anne Sebba is a biographer, lecturer, radio presenter and former Reuters' foreign correspondent. She has written nine critically acclaimed books, most recently Les Parisiennes.