Neustadt JAAMM Festival (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music)

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

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Join JAAMM to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day as we welcome author Ariana Neumann to discuss her debut book, "When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains."


Special thanks to the Jewish Book Council for their assistance in routing recently-published Jewish-interest authors to our community. We encourage you to purchase this title through our 2020-2021 Bookstore Partner, The Bookies, to receive a signed bookplate from the author!


About "When Time Stopped":

There is a Czech saying – The darkest shadow is beneath the candle.


As a little girl growing up in a flourishing 1970s Venezuela, Ariana wanted to peer into the shadows and be a detective. With no real mysteries to solve, her childish curiosity led her to focus on the enigma of her own father, a brilliant industrialist who appeared to be the epitome of success and strength but who would wake in the night screaming in a language that she didn’t recognize.


Then, one day, she found an old identity document bearing his picture but someone else’s name.


Her father never spoke about the past. This was the first of many clues that she was to uncover in the years to come. They led her to a box of papers that he had left for her when he died in 2001. The box contained wartime documents that opened the door to her father’s past and finally gave her the permission he had long withheld to step through it. Her inquiries led her to trace long lost relatives and to other boxes, filled with hundreds of documents about a family that had remained veiled in silence.


Ariana meticulously uncovers the astonishing truth of her father’s extraordinary escape from Nazi-occupied Prague and seemingly inevitable deportation to the camps. Her painstaking investigation leads her across continents and reveals his astonishing and courageous choice to assume a fake identity and live out the war undercover, spying for the allies in Berlin itself—at the heart of the Nazi empire, deep in the ‘darkest shadow’.


When Time Stopped is an unputdownable detective story and an epic family memoir, spanning nearly ninety years and crossing oceans. In uncovering her father’s story after all these years, she discovers nuance and depth to her own history and illuminates poignant and thought-provoking truths about the threads of humanity that connect us all.


About Ariana Neumann:

Ariana Neumann was born and grew up in Venezuela. She has a BA in History and French Literature from Tufts University, an MA in Spanish and Latin American Literature from New York University and a PgDIP in Psychology of Religion from University of London. She previously was involved in publishing, worked as a foreign correspondent for Venezuela’s The Daily Journal and her writing also appeared in The European. She currently lives in London with her husband, three children, a basset fauve de Bretagne, a border terrier and a rescue mutt. When Time Stopped is her first book.