Introduction by Andrea Pitzer
Afterword by Panikos Panayi
A masterpiece of humanism, Time Stood Still recounts Paul Cohen-Portheim's years of internment in England as an enemy alien during World War One. An artist and theatre designer, he at first viewed internment as a sort of holiday: 'Should I bring my bathing things and evening dress?' he asked the policeman taking him prisoner.
Though confined in a 'gentleman's camp' near Wakefield, as Cohen-Portheim shows with grace, humour, and deep compassion, even under the best conditions, the simple act of being confined and placed in a sort of limbo is a form of torture: 'Where there is no aim, no object, no
sense, there is no time.' Time Stood Still is a passionate but balanced argument against internment and its inherently dehumanizing effects.
'Cohen-Portheim is a beautiful writer. It’s an important book not just in concentration camp history, but in world history.' - Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A
Global History of Concentration Camp
'Splendid in its restraint, its sanity, and its understanding of war ... a civilian All Quiet on the Western Front' - The New York Times
Paul Cohen-Portheim was an artist and writer. Born in Berlin in 1879, he lived in Vienna and Paris and was on a visit to England when war broke out in August 1914. Following his internment described in Time Stood Still, he lived in London and Paris and wrote numerous books, including The Message of Asia and The Spirit of London. He died in Paris in 1932.
Andrea Pitzer is the author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov, and Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World.
Panikos Panayi is Professor of European History at DeMontfort University and author of Prisoners of Britain: German Civilian and Combatant Internees During the First World War and over a dozen other works of history and cultural studies.
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