July 25, 2018

Post-War Amsterdam: Looking Back at the City in the Late 1940s, Just After WWII

Born 1913, Dutch photojournalist Ben van Meerendonk worked at the General Dutch Photo Press Office of Sem Presser in the late 1930s, but was prohibited from practicing his profession during the Second World War. In 1945, he founded the Algemeen Hollands Fotopersbureau (AHF).

Van Meerendonk mainly photographed in the forties, fifties and sixties, and delivered via his AHF to the newspapers De Telegraaf, De Tijd, De Waarheid, Het Parool, Het Vrije Volk and Trouw.

As a press photographer Van Meerendonk specialized in daily life, the Royal House, and international stars. He won the Silver Camera in 1950, 1958 and 1966, and in 1966 the first prize in the category Photo Stories of World Press Photo with a photograph of the rehearsal for the wedding of Beatrix and Claus.

In 1988 he was awarded the Golden Pin of Amsterdam. On the Haveneiland of the Amsterdam district of IJburg a street was named after him in 2006.

Van Meerendonk died in 2008, at the age of 94. His photo archive of more than 70 thousand photos has been housed at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) since 1990.

These amazing photos from IISG were taken by Ben van Meerendonk that show everyday life of Amsterdam from 1946 to 1949, few years just after the Second World War.

Ceintuurbaan, Amsterdam, September 24, 1946

A wild strike at the Gemeentetram and the Stadsreiniging, garbage remains undone, Amsterdam, September 24, 1946

Amsterdam, summer 1946

Boy on basalt blocks. The sheeting at the Central Station will be repaired, Amsterdam, April 24, 1946

Café de Kroon, Rembrandtplein, Amsterdam, 1946

Children on a (hard granite) slide, Amsterdam, 1946

Children on miniature motorcycle with sidecar under the guidance of their father, 1946

Christmas trees sale at the Singel, Amsterdam, December 7, 1946

Crowds for the movie Monkfish at cinema Cinema Royal, in the support act the singing wanderer Frans van Schaik, Nieuwendijk, Amsterdam, November 26, 1946

Demonstration of fruit farmers against the government policy 'The fruit on the voucher brings back black apples ... again', Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Amsterdam, September 5, 1946

Dutch new, Singel, Amsterdam, May 1946

Fashion store at Jenny Models, Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 18-20, Amsterdam, 15 October 1946

Goudsbloemstraat with peeling farmer and milk cart, Amsterdam, 1946

Market on the Waterlooplein, woman reads newspaper behind her stall, Amsterdam, September 1946

Showcase of Sterk's Rijwielhandel, Amsterdam, December 3, 1946

The Bethanienstraat, Amsterdam, 1946

The canals are being dredged, the Bloemgracht near the Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, December 5, 1946

The De Mirandabad, Amsterdam, July 1946

The police distribute pamphlets to the youth within the framework of the 'anti-tram-bunch-action', Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Amsterdam, December 14, 1946.

At Cineac, 'Ali Baba and the 40 robbers', Damrak, December 1947

 Children on the sidewalk with large sheets of advertising stamps, July 9, 1947

City Theater, Amsterdam, May 8, 1947

De Wenteltrap (The Spiral Staircase) runs in Nöggerath, Reguliersbreestraat, Amsterdam, September 22, 1947

Female service at the gas station of garage Tobacco, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Amsterdam, September 22, 1947

Luilakviering, Amsterdam, May 22, 1947

Painters on the bridge at the Oudezijds Kolk, children watch, Amsterdam, July 1947

Street scenes of Amsterdam, June 30, 1947

Swine suction dredger in action in case of flooding caused by thaw, Westermarkt, Amsterdam, March 11, 1947

Thaw in Amsterdam, car passes cyclist in the Staalstraat, Amsterdam, March 11, 1947

Three ice cream carts in a row at the Oosterpark and the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, 1947

Transport of an oil tank on a truck with semi-trailer from H.F. Zentveld, Spaarndammerdijk corner Hemweg, Amsterdam, October 28, 1947

Two men with a handcart loaded with old paper from the material service of the Hulp voor Onbehuisden, Weesperzijde, Amsterdam, November 18, 1947

At the shop window of Mayfair, Kalverstraat 34, Amsterdam, July 1948

Children leave with tram 12 to S.I.V.A. Kinder-Vakantieschool Westeroord at the Hemweg, the corner of Javastraat and Javaplein, Amsterdam, July 19, 1948

De beste jaren van ons leven (The best years of our lives, 1946) by William Wyler, film of the month, Reguliersbreestraat, Amsterdam, February 9, 1948

Expedition car from De Waarheid Volksdagblad for the Netherlands at the printing office on the corner of Paleisstraat and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Amsterdam, November 1948

Fruitshandel 'De Concurrent' from Piet Scholten has orange juice again: 'Finally, here they are the first Jaffa apples, 16 (cents) per kilo, Piet', Amsterdam, January 1948

Member no. 5 of the Dutch Association of Petroleum Dieticians 'By Unity Strong' fills an oil can on the street, Amsterdam, January 14, 1948

 Municipal workers of the planting service have been busy sawing branches of a monumental elm, Weteringplantsoen, Amsterdam, January 14, 1948

 On the Keizersgracht the elms are felled by municipal employees and replaced by linden (21 years old) from the Bach district, Amsterdam, February 5, 1948

Police stop construction at 'Cloeck & Moedigh' due to a renovation of the printing plant without permission from B & W, 2e Passeerdersdwarsstraat, Amsterdam, March 31, 1948

Silver tram with text "'Be a gentleman in traffic' and 'I'm looking forward! .. You too?" in the depot Tollensstraat, Amsterdam, December 9, 1948

The Vondel bridge is ready but the roads in the Vondelpark are not yet, January 6, 1948

 Transport by cart from the depot Lekstraat to 't Kabouterhuis on the Amsteldijk, Amsterdam, April 1948

Bureau member E.A.G. (Ab) Hock employed for 25 years at the Centraal Theater, Amstelstraat 14-18, Amsterdam, September 13, 1949

Bus of Noord-Holland Express at petrol station with gasoline price increase 'From now on increased by 3 cents', Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Amsterdam, November 1949

Departure of the children from Kattenburg to the campsite of farmer Zander in Schoorl on behalf of Stichting Kinderuitzending 'Eilanden', August 1, 1949

Fire at a glassworks in an old warehouse on the Elandsgracht 15, Amsterdam, October 3, 1949

 Little boy riding a mini-road bike under the guidance of his father, Sarphatistraat, Amsterdam, July 13, 1949

 Overview of the first CPN meeting for peace (anti NATO) at the Noordermarkt, Amsterdam, April 2, 1949

Traffic on the bridge between the Oude and Nieuwe Hoogstraat over the Kloveniersburgwal, Amsterdam, October 13, 1949






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