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Debbie and Chuck Frank • Michelle and Benjamin Klein
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A daughter tells the story of the controversial choices that her father, a Jewish artist from Poland, made in order to survive the Holocaust. Eddie Vitch (née Ignace Levkovitch) was a talented caricature and mime artist. His iconic drawings of the silver screen’s biggest stars covered the walls of the Brown Derby in Los Angeles – a famous backdrop to Hollywood and the stuff of celebrity lore. In the 1930’s US immigration deported him back to Europe where his mime act became a huge success. When Germany invaded France in 1940, he was performing in Paris. The Nazi officers who saw him on stage sent him to perform in Germany by orders of the Propaganda department. Throughout the war he performed in front of the Nazi elite, including Goering and Goebbels, and the Gestapo in Germany’s most prestigious theaters. His documents identified him as “Levkovitch,” a recognizably Jewish name. In other words, he was hiding in plain sight, or maybe the Nazis were protecting him? As Vitch’s mysterious life is revealed, it becomes clear that what happened decades ago still affects his family today.
Sigal Bujman, Director and David Chack, Executive Director of the Alliance for Jewish Theatre