Festival 2022 Saturday 26 February - Sunday 06 March | Tickets now on sale

When Time Stopped

Ariana Neumann

01/03/2020 3:30 pm
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, Hall 2

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

Ariana Neumann


© 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


Anne Sebba: award winning biographer, historian and author of eleven books. Her latest book is Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy published in the UK and US in 2021. In 2016 Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940’s was the winner of the 2016 Franco-British Society book prize. Previously Anne wrote That Woman, a biography of Wallis Simpson and the scandal of the 1936 abdication crisis based on her discovery of a secret cache of letters. A former Reuters Foreign Correspondent, Anne is a broadcaster and regularly appears on television talking about her books. She is a former chair of Britain's 10,000 strong Society of Authors and lecturer who gives talks to a variety of audiences in the US and UK as well as on cruises and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research.

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