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Life of London in the 1950s Through the Lens of a Dutch Photographer

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.

#1 Oxford Street

Oxford Street

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#2 Regent Street

Regent Street

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#3 Lower Regent Street

Lower Regent Street

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#4 Middle Temple Lane

Middle Temple Lane

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#5 An orderly queue for the number 8 bus at London Bridge Station

An orderly queue for the number 8 bus at London Bridge Station

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#6 Northern Line

Northern Line

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#7 Bull and Mouth, Aldersgate

Bull and Mouth, Aldersgate

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#8 Blowing soap bubbles

Blowing soap bubbles

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#9 High Holborn

High Holborn

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#10 Lombard Street

Lombard Street

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#11 Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus

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#12 Pensioners’ rally at Trafalgar Square

Pensioners' rally at Trafalgar Square

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#13 Outside the Ritz, Piccadilly

Outside the Ritz, Piccadilly

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#14 George Tippins newspaper seller, Piccadilly

George Tippins newspaper seller, Piccadilly

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#15 Fleet Street

Fleet Street

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#16 Berwick Street market

Berwick Street market

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#17 Caledonian Market

Caledonian Market

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#18 Bank of England

Bank of England

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#19 Shop in Rupert Street

Shop in Rupert Street

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#20 St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

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#21 Prince of Wales Theatre

Prince of Wales Theatre

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#22 Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

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#23 Trafalgar Square at night

Trafalgar Square at night

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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