István Irsai

István Irsai (later Pesach Ir-Shay, Hebrew: פסח ער-שי , b. 1896 – d. 1968) was a Hungarian-born Israeli architect and graphic designer.

István Irsai
Pesach Irshay.jpg
EducationBudapest University of Technology and Economics
OccupationArchitect, graphic designer

Early lifeEdit

István Irsai was born in 1896 in Budapest, Hungary.[1][2] He learned how to play the violin as a child.[2] He served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I.[2] He subsequently studied architecture at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.[1][2]

Adult lifeEdit

Irsai started his career as an architect and graphic designer in Budapest.[2] He lived in Mandate Palestine from 1925 to 1929, when he designed the Hebrew font Haim.[1] During that time, he also designed stage sets in theatres as well as houses in the Bauhaus architectural style.[2] He returned to Hungary in 1929, where he worked as a graphic designer until 1944.[1]

Irsai was deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944, but he managed to escape on the Kastner train.[1][2] He emigrated to Israel, where he was a graphic designer.[1][2] He designed posters for Modiano and Tungsram, among other companies.[2] He also designed Zionist-themed posters to promote the state of Israel.[2]


Irsai died in 1968 in Israel.[1][2]

Further readingEdit

  • Lob, Ladislaus; Rahe, Thomas; Sommerfield-Irsai, Miryam (2014). Postcards from Bergen-Belsen : Istvan Irsai and his graphic art. Celle: Stiftung Niedersachsische Gedenkstatten.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Pesach Steven (Istvan) Irsai". Yad Vashem. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Irsai, István". Budapest Poster Gallery. Retrieved June 21, 2016.