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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Israel Alexander (Sanyi) Ivany

Born on January 26th (Australia Day) 1925 in Tecso, Czechoslovakia, a rural village at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. He was the youngest of six children born to Yitzaha Ignaz Indig and Fani Indig (nee Reisman).

In April 1944 he was detained in Tecso Ghetto and transported at the age of 19 to Auschwitz with his eldest sister Irene and his parents. The children were separated from their parents on the Birkenau platform. Their parents were never seen again; his sister Irene was taken to Birkenau to be used as the subject of medical experiments.

Alexander was deported to six concentration camps in total, spending the majority of the time in Hut 6 Auschwitz from May 1944, branded with the number A10134. He then was moved to Gross Rosen, Buchenwald in January 1945, and finally to Theresienstadt. A year after he was first transported, he was liberated by Allied forces and found his way back home; only to find it occupied. Barely alive, he hid in a roof in a neighboring town, defiantly clutching onto a satchel containing moldy bread crumbs, the same satchel he took with him to Auschwitz.

After the War, Alexander lived in Paris and later made his way to Genoa on the 24th September , 1949. Then he traveled onboard the Italian ship, ‘Caboto’ which arrived in Melbourne, Australia on the 24th of October 1949.

He gained employment with Winten's Plastics in Port Melbourne working as a driver.

He met and fell in love with Agota (‘Agi’) Feigl; marrying her six weeks later in 1953. They lived on a farm in Stanhope near Shepparton, Victoria. He married three times.

Alexander then went into manufacturing and retailing small-goods, an occupation to which he devoted 20 years; after which he successfully went into the Hotel and Property Industry as well as investments. He worked long hours, educated himself, was determined and driven.

In 2002 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was cared for a period of seven years before his passing on the 14th September 2009.

He was survived by Yolanda, his current wife, his two children and six grandchildren.