Sharit Ha-Platah

Above, Margot Kornfeld, Sharit Ha-Platah, Arolsen Archives record

These ‘Surviving Remnant’ / ‘Holocaust Survivor’ lists were published in 1946 and are comprised of the names of 61,387 Jewish Shoah survivors. (USHMM suggests that there are around 85,000 entries; sources seem to vary.)

The book provides “an extensive list of survivors of Nazi tyranny published so that the lost may be found and the dead brought back to life”.

Most people reading this will probably have found a reference to family members in the Sharit, which is how I came to look this up myself: Margot’s family are listed here. For some information about searching in the UK and online, specifically, see below.

The lists were initially compiled by Reform Rabbi Abraham Klausner (1915–2007), a Jewish chaplain in the US Army. He was the first Jewish chaplain to enter Dachau a few weeks after its liberation, in May 1945. By June 1945, Klausner had published a list of around 25,000 names, which was gradually expanded to Sharit Ha-Platah.

Although regarded by some as a rather controversial figure, as well as producing the lists of survivors, in the early days Klausner organised clothing and kosher food, hospital facilities and other much-needed medical provisions. He travelled widely to help locate survivors and reunite families, and also worked hard to draw attention to the plight of the many thousands of Jewish Displaced Persons.

Sharit Ha-Platah was published in Munich by the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in Bavaria. Klausner’s obituary from the Los Angeles Times is here:

It is also available here as a PDF, in case the link gets broken: Klausner_Sharit_HaPlatah.

Searching the Sharit in the UK

In the UK, there are two copies of the Sharit in the Weiner Holocaust Library in London, held on microfiche.

If you have received Arolsen Archives records that mention the Sharit, you may also have received a copy of your family entry with the results, but if you wish to search more widely for yourself, you are able to do so at the library.

JewishGen also holds a copy of the information, I believe, if you wish to search online.

Further information

The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem, have a PDF that outlines the process by which the information was gathered for the Sharit, here:

Significant holdings on Klausner are with the American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY; these are viewable online via the website of the Centre for Jewish History. You can consult online to see if they have the archival material you are interested in, by following the link here:

This archive includes scrapbooks, speeches, sermons, clippings, official documents, correspondence, his personal and military records, his birth certificate, and an outline of Klausner’s life and work.