Johan de Haas, Photographer of the Red Family

Johan de Haas Dutch press photographer Johan de Haas (1915-1997) worked from 1937 to 1978 for various newspapers and journals published by social-democratic organizations, commonly referred to as the Red Family. He made countless photographic reports of this family, assembled at conferences or trade union meetings. He also took pictures of people at work, in factories, on the street, and in the field. De Haas' work, which focused on people and work, can also be found in photographs from his foreign travels.

The IISH presents here 30 photos of people at work from the collection of Johan de Haas: half from the Netherlands, half from the Maghreb, where he traveled at the end of the 1930s. This is only a small selection from the more than 64,000 negatives which the Institute acquired in 1997.

The personal recollections of his daughter and son-in-law are the basis for a biographical sketch on De Haas. The yearbook of the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation published an article about his work (pdf, 3.3Mb) during the Second World War, when he made his unique pictures of the Jewish Council (with thanks to René Kok and the NIOD). Finally, there is more information on the collection and the preservation of the negatives.


Willy Lindwer, Het fatale dilemma. De Joodsche Raad voor Amsterdam 1941-1943 (pdf, 540Kb) (Den Haag 1995) contains an interview with Johan de Haas (p.166-170). This book also contains foto's of the Joodsche Raad. (p.177-224). Special thanks to Willy Lindwer who gave permission to publish the interview on this website.

Tekst: Margo Buurman, Huub Sanders