zondag 29 mei 2011
the German Occupation of the Hague 1940 - 1945 Menno Huizinga Photography
Menno Huizinga was one of the more distinguished professional Dutch photographers in the 1930s, but is best known for the photographs he took during the German occupation.
In 1942 his house in The Hague was pulled down to make room for the German coastal fortifications, the Atlantic wall. He decided to take illegal pictures of the process with his Leica, often concealed in a cheese-box which he carried on his bicycle. During the occupation he changed from a trustworthy industrial photographer into a clandestine reporter who was always in the right place at the right time.
Up to and including the liberation, Huizinga took approxi mately 750 pictures of daily life in The Hague, usually on his own initiative. After the war he selected and arranged some 420 of them to form seventeen thematic series: the demolition of the city; the clearance of The Hague's wooded area called the Haagse Bos; the evacuation of Wassenaar and Marlot; buildings used by the Germans; means of transport; the events of Tuesday September 5 1944, when liberation seemed imminent but did not happen; fuel shortage; food; the woods at Scheveningen; V2 strikes; garbage disposal; reading in the street; the arrival of the Canadians and the Princess Irene Brigade; the departure of the Germans; after the liberation; the Queen's return; famine. Of these, famine was the only commissioned series, compiled for the Local Interdenominational Office for the City and District of The Hague. The reportage arrived in England before the liberation and part of it was published there in the London-based Vrij Nederland. As well as the photos of everyday life in The Hague which Huizinga took as in his professional capacity, he also made photographs on microfilm for a resistance group. Huizinga's wartime negatives passed to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation during his lifetime.