Pinkas HaNitzolim II — Register of Jewish Survivors II
List of Jews in Poland (58,000 Names)
PUBLISHED BY THE JEWISH AGENCY FOR PALESTINE
SEARCH BUREAU FOR MISSING RELATIVES
BACKGROUND by Ada Holtzman
Four years ago when my interest in Jewish genealogy began, I started
a web site dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust. As a result
of that, I've received many requests for family roots information,
mainly from Poland, the country where my research is concentrated.
These requests are similar to the letters sent to JewishGen and its
SIG discussion groups.
To be able to answer those requests, I used to apply to a researcher
in the Galilee who was very active at the beginning of the
"Missing Identity" project.
The researcher had in her possession the Pinkas Hanitzolim,
Register of Jewish Survivors, published by the Jewish Agency
This incredible book contained 58,000 names of Holocaust survivors.
My friend used to send me all the information concerning a surname
which I was helping to find. When we found a supposed relative,
we sent an inquiry to the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation Genealogy Project
at the Jewish Institute of Poland, which holds the original cards
completed by the survivors in the various Jewish Committees founded
after the war in various places. Those cards contained more details
than what was published in the
Survivors Register - for example,
parents, town of origin, etc.
I then learned that this book was a major tool in the searching activities
of Batya Unterschatz, the last director of the Search Bureau for Missing
Relatives of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, which unfortunately recently
Therefore, I suggested to my friend that we post this entire book on
the Internet, but she informed me that the book was under the copyright
of the Jewish Agency. At that stage I realized that only an
organization like JewishGen could get permission from the Sochnut
(Jewish Agency) and could organize the resources to get all the
58,000 names into a database and make it available to the entire
The problem was to get two copies of the two-volume books.
I searched second-hand bookstores and finally found the Pinkasim in a
shop and purchased the last copies. JewishGen's VP, Research,
the tireless Joyce Field, was already negotiating with the Jewish
Agency through the efforts of Shalom Eitan in Israel.
Finally the permission was obtained, thanks to him.
All of this took about two years, until Yad Vashem entered the picture,
as described by Joyce in her introductory comments.
I wish to thank Joyce Field for her vision, persistence and dedication
to this project. Also thanks to David Amdurer who did most of the
proofreading so that this dream could come true.
It is my sincere deep belief that posting the lists of survivors on
the Internet at the JewishGen website will lead to finding lost relatives
and reuniting families broken apart under the cruel circumstances of the
War. Because the HOPE that such a miracle will happen hasn't left
the survivors' and their relatives' hearts, although nearly 60 years have
passed! And for fulfilling this dream, even for one single survivor,
all our efforts were not in vain.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS by Joyce Field
Many years ago Ada Holtzman proposed that we create a database on
this file of Jewish survivors. There were three problems:
getting permission from the Jewish Agency, getting copies of the
original book, and then raising the funds to hire people to scan
JewishGen, Inc. received permission from the Jewish Agency of Israel
on January 3, 2001 to publish this list of survivors on our web site.
Mr. Shalom Eitan acted as our representative in Israel to secure this
permission. The permission letter, from the Office of the Legal
Advisor of the Jewish Agency, was signed by Attorney Fran Barnis,
with copies sent to:
- Dr. Mark Ismailoff, the Legal Advisor,
- Mr. Chaim Nigos, President of the Financial Department, and
- Mr. Mark Rosenberg, President of the Aliya Department
The letter states: "On behalf of the Jewish Agency for Israel,
I wish to inform you that the Jewish Agency has given its approval to
the Jewish Generation Association [sic] that you represent, to publish
the "List of Survivors" book on the Internet. The condition for
the Jewish Agency's approval is that the introductions from both the
volumes will be included and it should be mentioned that the
Jewish Agency's Missing Relatives Bureau published the book."
Although we had permission and Ada was able to find two copies of
this book, we were unable to raise the funds to have the book scanned
and "OCR'ed." One day, purely by accident, Zvi Bernhardt of
Yad Vashem mentioned to me that Yad Vashem had scanned the books years,
before but needed help with proofreading the output.
We agreed to find JewishGen volunteers to do that.
David Amdurer took the lead in validating the data, which proved to
be a mammoth undertaking, and Ada Holtzman and Sandra Krisch assisted
him with the huge task. Volume 2 is now in a searchable database
because David and Ada worked on this collaborative effort between
Yad Vashem and JewishGen.
Click here for information
about the contents of volume 1.
Click here for an image of a sample
original page from volume 2.
The original introduction published in volume 2 follows.
The Search Bureau for Missing relatives of the Jewish Agency, which was
set up to assist in re-establishing contact between the Jewish survivors
in Europe and their relatives in Palestine and in overseas countries,
is issuing this second volume of the “Register of Survivors” which contains
the names of 57,702 Jews who were found in Poland after its liberation.
list was prepared by the Central Committee of Polish Jewry in Warsaw and bears
the date of August 15th, 1945. There can be no doubt that this list
does not include all the names of the Jews who were alive on that date in
Poland. Thus, for instance, under “S”, 2,546 names are missing which were
registered by the Warsaw Committee but which have not yet been received in
Jerusalem (the last number under “S” is 50,254 while “T” begins with the number
52,801. The fact that “S” is not complete is also evident from the name
“Schwartz” not appearing at all in it). We are in communication with the Warsaw
Committee about these missing names and when they are received in Jerusalem they
will be issued in our current publication “To the Near and the Far”.
It should also be mentioned that some 13,000 names of Jewish soldiers
serving at the time with the Polish Army were not included in the List.
Since the List was compiled, a certain number of the
survivors have left Poland. We have, nevertheless, decided to publish the List
as received from the Warsaw Committee without any alternations.
In order to
assist readers, we are attaching herewith an abbreviated Note drawn up by the
Warsaw Committee on the subject of List No. 1.
JEWISH AGENCY FOR PALESTINE
SEARCH BUREAU FOR MISSING RELATIVES
Hamadpis Liphshitz Press, Jerusalem
NOTE ON LIST No. I DRAWN UP BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
OF POLISH JEWRY IN
The Statistical Department has a card index which was compiled on the basis
of material supplied to it by the Jewish Local Councils in the various townlets
and districts. From the moment that the offices of these Councils were opened,
the Jewish population in each place spontaneously poured in for registration.
During the first period of mass registration, when material was collected
without any plan, and without any regard to accepted modes of registration, the
manner in which the various local committees were set up differed widely
according to the time of their establishment. Before the Central Committee in
Warsaw had yet been able to take control of the whole work and give it central
direction, the first registration had already been completed all over Poland.
Anyone who regarded himself as a Jew, anyone who came out from bunkers and
hiding-places, asked to be registered. Even persons who declared themselves to
be of Polish nationality- and of not being attached to the Jewish community
registered with the Jewish Council as this was regarded the only way of tracing
In some cases persons only gave their first names, family
names and present address without adding any other data. The first List, which
was drawn up in a most superficial manner, was in fact, the most comprehensive,
because it comprised the entire Jewish population. On their journeys from one
place to another in Poland these persons registered with every Local Council.
Later on, the lists were everywhere compiled in accordance with accepted
statistical - standards, but by that time the first spontaneous rush for
registration had ceased. This was in some cases due to fear of anti-Semitism and
to growing anxiety to hide the fact of being a Jew. In other cases it was the
result of persons having meanwhile made contact with their lost relatives. For
the most part, however, the waning interest in the registration was due to
neglect and failure to appreciate the importance of the matter. Now there is
again a steady flow of applicants for registration reminiscent of the first
response. This is due to the return of persons from abroad, in particular those
coming from the various camps who are anxiously looking for their surviving
It is probable that the new registration which has now been
decided upon by the Central Committee of Polish Jewry will be designed to
include everybody, among them also those who were not comprised within the last
registration. Effective measures will be taken to ensure this. Nevertheless,
there can be little doubt that as in the case of every other census, a certain
percentage of persons will not be included. The Central Committee, in working up
the material and statistical data, has certainly not omitted any name which
appeared in the List even though the data given are too meager to enable a
definite identification of the person concerned. It goes without saying that
when many persons have the same first name and family name and one of them has
failed to provide exact additional data, he may or may not be the person looked
for. If his name were omitted from the List the result be that the relative
searching for him might arrive at the erroneous conclusion that he was not
alive, inasmuch as the exact data provided by the other persons of the same name
make it clear who they are. It is for this reason that we have included all
names which at one time or other appeared in the list of
The alphabetical list which follows hereunder was compiled
on the basis of all the material collected from the first moment of the
liberation of Polish territory to the 1st June 1945. This list includes 60,933
names. Of these 55,187 were found alive in Poland itself and the remaining were
prisoners and camp inmates.
The other lists which have so far been
received still require verification. The alphabetical list No. 1 comprises
material which has been carefully checked up. As stated above, it happened in
many cases that the identical persons were registered in various places.
Where it was possible to establish this fact definitely, the names were
excluded from the List. Where this could not be definitely established,
the names remained in the List. It is estimated that the number of
person who appear more than once in the List represents about 4% of the whole.
The alphabetical list
comprises the following columns:
- Current Number
- Family Name
- Private Name
- Place of Last Registration (for instance, Warsaw, Warsaw District: or
Bitum, District of Silesia)
The alphabetical list follows the accepted phonetical order.
For reasons connected with Polish phonetics:
For phonetical and other reasons the following rules of transcription
have been observed:
- ei is transcribed aj
(e.g. Stein is
Weizman is transcribed Wajzman
is transcribed Najman)
- ey is transcribed ej
- a, a, oe. je are transcribed e
Mahler under Meler
Laewi under Lewi)
- i, ie, ue, yu are transcribed i or as
(e.g. you will find:
Grunerg, Gruenberg, Gryunberg
Wieser under Wiser
- tz is transcribed c or cz
(e.g. you will find:
Rabinowitz under Rabinowicz Itzkowitz under
Spatz under Spac
Spitzer under Spicer
- ck is transcribed k
(thus you will
find Rack under Rak
Becker under Beker)
- oj is transcribed eu or
(you will find:
Dojtsch under Deutsch
Frojnd under Freund
Nojer under Noyer
Nojowicz under Noyowicz)
- x is transcribed ks or chs
Schnek under Sznek
Schlang under Szlang)
- S before p or t is transcribed sz
Straucher is transcribed Sztraucher
Spitzer is transcribed
Spatz is transcribed Szpac)
- The letter h is deleted after a consonant and before a vowel
Mohr is transcribed Mor
Kohn is transcribed Kon
Uhr is transcribed Ur).
Owing to various technical defects and delays the above rules
were not observed in the case names of similar sound.
Thus persons of the name of Silberberg may be found both under
Zylberberg and Silberberg.
The same applies to Singer (Zynger) and Silberman (Zylberman),
Zymerman (Cymerman), Zimer (Zymer), Zweibaum (Cwajbaum).
Filips is transcribed as Philips.
Similarly, the alphabetical, and not the phonetical order, has
been observed in the case of the following names: Maczek, Maka,
In some cases names of similar sound appear together while
in other cases they appear under different heads.
Thus both Posner and Pozner appear under Posner: but Prezman and
Presman appear separately.
All foreign names (such as Silbersmith, Swani, Aandagt, Zsigmonde)
are arranged in alphabetical order.
In all foreign names V is transcribed w.
CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF POLISH JEWRY IN WARSAW
Searching the Database
This database is searchable via
JewishGen's Holocaust Database.
Last Update: March 19, 2003 by RdR