Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father’s past: years spent hiding in plain sight in war-torn Berlin, the annihilation of dozens of family members in the Holocaust, and the courageous choice to build anew.
The story...is worthy of fiction with hairpin plot twists, daredevil acts of love and unexpected moments of humor in dark times ... Given the slew of colorful characters and dramatic details, Neumann could have turned her painstaking research into a historical novel. Instead she has written a superb family memoir that unfolds its poignant power on multiple levels. Yes, her account of one Jewish-Czech family’s race to outwit the Nazis makes for thrilling reading. But just as important is her lucid investigation of the nature of memory, identity and remembrance ... Neumann’s book obeys its own exquisite clockwork.
The detail in the lengthy documents [Hans] left, especially dozens of pages about living and working behind enemy lines...is astonishing. This book will be an important addition to Holocaust literature ... Neumann has a gift for observation and an eye for specificity ... On the whole Neumann avoids speculation, but naturally, questions remain ... But she has borne witness, which is everyone’s duty. We have heard of many of the atrocities recounted in these pages before. But we must go on hearing them. This is a very fine book indeed.
Neumann shares the results of her meticulous research in a brilliantly heart-wrenching memoir ... filled with heartbreaking, spine-tingling stories. But Neumann’s treasure trove of personal history isn’t solely responsible for the book’s appeal: she’s a gifted, visceral writer as well, bringing each character alive as they experience the horrors of World War II. When Time Stopped is a notable new memoir not to be missed.