DDR Ansichten: Views of a Vanished Country • Thomas Hoepker • Magnum Photos

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DDR Ansichten: Views of a Vanished Country

Thomas Hoepker’s photographic reminiscences of the shifting landscape of East Germany following World War II

Thomas Hoepker

Thomas Hoepker The rear window of a "Trabbi" (Trabant) car with a decorative plastic cushion. East Berlin, Germay. 1974. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Children playing at the Berlin Wall in Berlin-Wedding. East Berlin, Germany, 1963. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker A child playing by the Berlin Wall. The latin words 'In Tyrannos' has been written in capital letters on the Wall. West-Berlin, Germany. 1963. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Modern concrete-slab buildings and a picture of General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party Erich Honecker. Saxony-Anhal, Halle-Neustadt, Germany 1975. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Covered car in Friedrichshain park. East Berlin, Germany. 1984. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Vacationers in the woods on the shore of the Baltic Sea have lunch in a parking lot in front of their Trabant and Skoda cars. Ruegen, Germany. 1974. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Ascension Day celebration near Zittau, Saxony. Germany. 1990. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Blue Traband in Prenzlauer Berg district. Germany, East Berlin. 1975. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker A May Day demonstration march passes by new apartment housing for workers, called Plattenbau, in the Weissensee district. East Berlin, Germany. May 1, 1975. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Guenter Kunert, writer, sitting in an armchair in his house in the Buch district of East Berlin. One of his many cats stands on a table. Berlin, Germany. 1975. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Adolescents sitting at the fountain in Alexanderplatz . East Germany, East Berlin. 1974. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Uniformed couple flirting during a military air show in Magdeburg. Magdeburg, Germany. 1974. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Street in the district of Prenzlauer Berg. East Berlin, Germany. 1974. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker After the fall of the Berlin Wall, people gather chunks of the wall as souvenirs. Berlin, Germany, 1990. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos
Thomas Hoepker Celebrating the unification of Germany on October 3, 1990 at the Brandenburg Gate. Berlin, Germany, 1900. © Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos

The charm of the photographs by Thomas Hoepker lies in their documentary quality, their authenticity, and their testimonial character, for they were produced by an impartial eye.

Hoepker was a photojournalist for magazines such as Stern and Geo for many years. In the early seventies he and his wife, journalist Eva Windmöller, were accredited in the German Democratic Republic, and they spent several years reporting on politics and everyday life in East Berlin.

In this book, Hoepker documents life in East Germany from 1959 to the political turn of events in the late eighties. Included are photos of children playing on the Berlin Wall, rallies, propaganda posters, old façades from the Imperial Era, new apartment blocks, as well as portraits of artists such as Wolf Biermann, which together tell of a vanished nation.