1938. A young Jewish couple, Fryda and Natek, meet at a popular resort in southern Poland. Fryda dreams of finding the right man. Natek wants to be a famous Olympic bicycle racer; or rich … at least as his brother, Berek. Hitler dreams of a new world order, with no Jews. As the Germans invade Poland in 1939, the extermination begins. “In the Vise of Evils” tells the harrowing and nearly miraculous story of how Natek, his fiancée, Fryda, his brothers, Berek and Reuven, and two friends, escape from the Nazis’ malevolent claws straight into the Soviets’ vicious jaws.
Kalman Kivkovich (Kiwkowicz) is a retired architect, an artist, author and playwright. He is a man of many continents; born in Kazakhstan in 1945 to Polish nationals, lived in Poland, Israel, Italy and since 1973 in the USA. CLUSF (Italy) published his first nonfiction in 1975, titled “Nuovo Modello: Università Suddivisa in Nuclei.” His first play, In the Vise of Evils, based on the book, was awarded Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative’s unprecedented two performances in 2007, setting CPI’s highest attendance record. Embers from the Ashes: A Girl’s Holocaust Diary, his second play, received a full-house public staged reading in May 2008. Embers is about a recently-found diary of a Będzin girl, Rutka Laskier. A Stop in Paris entertained a full house in May 2009. The latter tells of the author’s brush with death in the tragic loss of a friend. From Auschwitz to Cincinnati: The Surviving Tunes, about the celebrated, world-renowned violinist, Henry Meyer, had its debut to a sold-out house at the prestigious Jarson-Kaplan Theater in April 2011. The controversial play, al-Dura: Truth or Deception?, also had its debut at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater in April 2012. The play generated mixed reactions across the globe. To date, CPI has selected eleven of Kalman’s plays. The most recent play produced in the USA, Bibi, had its world debut at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater in April 2014. Bibi is loosely based on the life of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Kalman was elected President of CPI for two terms (2010-2014). Kalman met his wife, Sandi, on the dance floor; they are both avid ballroom dancers. She is his partner, FRIEND and copyeditor. They reside in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Monday, August 1, 1938. In Będzin, a small city in southwestern Poland, Fryda Kornfeld was about to take a lengthy summer vacation to go to the mountainous Zakopane on the Polish-Czechoslovakian border. The place was relatively close to Będzin and drew many Jewish vacationers. There were families and singles, religious and secular—mainly secular singles. It was the latter that interested the young woman. Planning her vacation at a time when the whole world was sizzling in fear and anxiety of Adolf Hitler’s rhetoric and deeds was not easy or relaxing. But life could not simply stop— it had to go on. . . .