Cas Oorthuys was a Dutch photographer and designer. He first took up photography when he joined the free-thinking Dutch Association of Absent Students in the architecture department of the Haarlem MTS.
Oorthuys became a permanent photographer at De Arbeiderspers in 1936. His work for communist and anti-fascist organizations included photography and graphics. In the tradition of “workers’ photography,” his images documented poverty, police violence, homeless people, evictions, and the unemployed for magazines, book illustrations, and book covers.
During the German occupation, Oorthuys worked at the Personal Identification Centre, set up in 1942, and took passport photos for fake ID cards. Oorthuys was arrested by the Germans and imprisoned in camp Amersfoort in May 1944. However, he was re-released in August. On release, Oorthuys joined De Ondergedoken Camera and documented the German occupiers’ activities and Hongerwinter’s Dutch famine of 1944–45. In the postwar recovery period, he documented the Nuremberg war crimes trials and the rebuilding of his homeland.