On Living. Photographs by Thomas Hoepker and Daniel Biskup

Thomas Hoepker was the first West German photographer to receive an official authorization to live and report from East Berlin when the city was still divided by a wall. He was followed by the constant gaze of East Germany’s secret police but his work was uncensored. An article in Deutsche Welle explains: Hoepker’s reports gave West Germans their first glimpses of how “the other half” lived. Unlike the East Germans, who could watch West German TV, most West Germans had no idea what life in the GDR was like.

02_autoHoepker_Prenzlauer-Berg.jpgThomas Hoepker, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin (Ost), 1976

04_Hoepker_Jahrestag-der-DDR.jpgThomas Hoepker, Festveranstaltung zum 10. Jahrestag der DDR, 1959

Some 280 photos from Hoepker’s work in Eastern Germany are currently on view at the German Historical Museum in Berlin. The exhibition, titled On Living. Photographs by Thomas Hoepker and Daniel Biskup, marks the 50th anniversary of start of the construction of the Wall.

And i’ll leave you with his pictures even if i posted far more in one go than anyone could stomach.

0014_Hoepker_Neubaugebiet-Halle-Neustadt.jpgThomas Hoepker, Neubaugebiet Halle-Neustadt, 1975

16_Hoepker_Kindergarten.jpgThomas Hoepker, Kindergarten in Friedrichshain, Berlin (Ost), 1975

6lekiiiidE-4D28-9EA9-59E47E074388.jpgThomas Hoepker, Junge mit Spielzeuggewehr, Görlitz, 1976. © Thomas Hoepker / Magnum

6bajerrei-48B753047.jpgThomas Hoepker: Straße mit einer alten Bäckerei, Halle, 1991

18_Hoepker_Schaufenster.jpgThomas Hoepker, Schaufensterdekoration, Berlin (Ost), 1975

0dekoration11_450.jpgThomas Hoepker, Schaufensterdekoration, Berlin (Ost), October 1950

10_Hoepker_Trabant.jpgThomas Hoepker, Trabant, Berlin (Ost), 1974

08_Hoepker_Berliner-Mauer-Wedding,-Berlin-(West).jpgThomas Hoepker, Kind an der Berliner Mauer im Wedding, Berlin (West), 1963

06_Hoepker_Berliner-Mauer-Berlin-(West).jpgThomas Hoepker, Kind an der Berliner Mauer, Berlin (West), 1963

6vetarans10-4028-92A0C.jpgThomas Hoepker, Russische Veteranen bei den Feierlichkeiten zum 25. Jahrestag der DDR, Berlin (Ost), 7. Oktober 1974

6chevalprenzlaauerberg9-BD6D-F83EDDC02FD2.jpgThomas Hoepker, Altstoffsammlung im Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin (Ost), 1975

0urlauber54_450.jpgThomas Hoepker, Urlauber auf Rügen, 1974

Hoepker’s pictures are followed in the exhibition rooms by Daniel Biskup‘s photo documentation of the political and social upheavals in the former German Democratic Republic, the breakup of the Soviet Union and the clashes in the Balkan states.

101_Biskup_Demonstranten-Moskau.jpgDaniel Biskup, Kommunistische Demonstranten in Moskau, Mai 1996

05_Biskup_Privater-Handel_Moskau.jpgDaniel Biskup, Privater Handel vor dem Kinderkaufhaus Detski Mir, Moskau, Dezember 1993

09_Biskup_Warenangebot-Moskau.jpgDaniel Biskup, Warenangebot, Moskau, 2. Mai 1996

Photo galleries in Zeit online, RP online and on the website of the museum (HoepkerBiskup)

On Living. Photographs by Thomas Hoepker and Daniel Biskup remains at the German Historical Museum open until October 3, 2011.

Related sotries: Eros und Stasi, East Side Stories. German Photography 1950s-1980s, Art of Two Germanys, Cold War Cultures, etc.