I saw the photographs of Cas Oorthuys on 20 October 2018 at a wide retrospective “dit is Cas” at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, and reported about it in this blog. This time around, the completely renewed Verzetsmuseum in Amsterdam is giving a small presentation of Cas’s work during WWII. Cas Oorthuys took hundreds of photographs during the German occupation of The Netherlands, to witness the reality of that occupation. He had to work within the limits imposed by the occupant, no strategic locations or topic. He also took the opportunity to take illegal photos at the same time to show the activities of the resistance movement. Photographing became forbidden in 1944 but Cas continued his work throughout the Hunger winter of 1944-1945. Some of his pictures of the time have become iconic since then, like the desperately hungry woman, staring in the vacuum and nibbling on a piece of bread. The exhibit shows, in the typical Oorthuys square format, picture from this period, but also from his trip to Germany in 1946 and Indonesia in 1947. Oorthuys has become one of the icons of Dutch photography and the Verzetsmuseum pays tribute to his life and his work.

Destruction and start of recovery at Rhenen, 1940 ©Cas Oorthuys – Nederlands Fotomuseum
Hay Harvest, Pijnaker ©Cas Oorthuys – Nederlands Fotomuseum
Hay Harvest, Eemnes ©Cas Oorthuys – Nederlands Fotomuseum
Hiding Places ©Cas Oorthuys – Nederlands Fotomuseum
Indonesian People ©Cas Oorthuys – Nederlands Fotomuseum