My full name is Jennifer Henriques Phillips. I am a Jewish artist and writer living in South Carolina.

I worked with the Shoah Foundation as an interviewer of South Carolina Holocaust Survivors from 1995 to 1997. I subsequently worked with the Charleston County Public Library to establish a collection of South Carolina Holocaust Survivor tapes in the main county public library, the first collection in a public library in the United States. I have worked as the Development chair of the most prominent Holocaust Memorial in South Carolina (located in Marion Square in Charleston).

I am what one might call at 15th generation survivor – of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition. My family history goes back centuries, first to southern Spain where the family name was De Leon. Under inquisitorial pressure, they moved to Portugal and adopted the Portuguese “Henriques” and when the Inquisition reached Portugal in all it force, became crypto Jews – Catholic in public, Jews in private – for about 150 years. Once Netherlands became Protestant, having rid themselves of Spanish domination, they, along with many Jews, including the Spinoza family, traveled through Bayonne to Amsterdam. In 1644, they took passage to Jamaica, West Indies, then a Portuguese colony albeit outside of the reach of the Inquisition. They arrived in Jamaica on the eve of Pesach, and have lived there over the ensuing centuries. I grew up in Jamaica, have traveled board and now live as I said before, in the Charleston area in South Carolina.

Bernard (Berco) Iticovici was a Polish Jew who immigrated to France in the 1920’s, was inducted into the France Army, and captured by the Germans in the Battle for France in May/June of 1940. Along with other French prisoners, he was sent to Stalag VIII A near Gorlitz.

I am researching the fate of Bernard (Berco) Iticovici and want to contact anyone who was at Stalag VIII A or anyone who might know him.

Why Bernard (Berco) Iticovici? I am an artist and writer and a member of my family’s spouse is a 2nd g. Iticovici was a friend of his family before the war, and the last contact with him was in 1941 as a French soldier in Stalag Viii A at Gorlitz.

I have photographs of him before the war, and one final photography that was sent to a friend from Stalag VIII A in 1941. This photograph bears the official stamp of the Stalag along with a handwritten note from Iticovici including his prisoner number at the camp.

Mr. Iticovici’s story and fate has interested me at several levels: at the human level (who will remember Bernard) and as a writer and artist. My research so far places him at Stalag VIII A at Messaien’s first performance of his “Quartet for the End of Time” at the camp on a cold January day, while he was also a prisoner at Stalag VIIIA.

What happened to Bernard? Did he survive the Stalag?

I hope that this answers some of the questions that you have asked. You have all my contact information. I thank you for the subsequent information that you have sent on to me about further avenues of enquiry. I am going to try to contact the Jewish community in France also.

If anyone in your group has any information about Mr. Iticovici, or anyone who was at Stalag VIII A or anyone who might know him, please contact me.

With many thanks indeed,

Kol Tov,

Jennifer

Jennifer Henriques Phillips
P.O. Box 816, Johns Island, SC 29457
My e.mail is: jhphillips@comcast.net