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SEE THY NEIGHBOR October 4, 2020 to April 11, 2021


WENDE

MUSEUM O F T H E C O L D WA R

INTRODUCTION SEE THY NEIGHBOR: Stern Photographers Thomas Hoepker and Harald Schmitt in the GDR The Cold War divided much of the planet into antagonistic spheres that defined themselves in opposition to each other. While strictly separated, the East and the West constantly watched and scrutinized the enemy camp, both openly and secretly. This bipolar world order played out most dramatically in Germany, which was split into the Federal Republic of Germany in the west and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the east four years after World War II. Official relations between the two countries were established in 1973, following the West German policy of dÊtente toward Eastern Europe. Two years later, the West Germany-based news magazine Stern set up an office in East Berlin with Thomas Hoepker as their permanent photo correspondent. Shortly thereafter, in December 1976, Hoepker relocated to New York and Harald Schmitt took over. Unlike his predecessor, Schmitt happily stayed in East Berlin for six and a half years, until he was expelled by the local authorities. While the East Germans were unable to control which images were published in Stern, each photographer nonetheless was monitored by the secret service, the Stasi. Both Hoepker and Schmitt chose similar subjects, as if they had contributed to the same storyboard about politics, culture, and daily life in East Germany. The juxtaposition of these photographers’ work gives us insight into the complex reality of life under socialism in the GDR as seen from two different perspectives. See Thy Neighbor is organized by Annette Vowinckel, Joes Segal, and Anna Rose Canzano, with support from Sean Buchanan.

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Thomas Hoepker, Two coal men deliver brown coal to apartment blocks in East Berlin,1974

Harald Schmitt, Workers dismantle an old locomotive in a train station in Thuringia,1982


Thomas Hoepker, The Goethe house with a wedding carriage passing by, Weimar, 1970

Harald Schmitt, American singer and actor Dean Reed, 1982


Thomas Hoepker, Street in Weimar during celebration of the 25th anniversary of the GDR, 1975

Harald Schmitt, Teenagers in a small town near Dresden, 1980


Harald Schmitt, Tattoo on the arm of a prisoner who tried to escape the country, with the text “Lied to; cheated on; raised to hate,� 1981

Thomas Hoepker, A member of a group of fashion enthusiasts in East Berlin, 1984


Thomas Hoepker, Dissident singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann with singer Udo Lindenberg in Biermann’s apartment in East Berlin, 1975

Harald Schmitt, American civil rights activist Angela Davis with politician Paul Verner during the 8th Spartakiade (youth sports festival) in East Berlin, 1981


Thomas Hoepker, Chemist and dissident Robert Havemann and dissident singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann meet in Havemann’s house in East Berlin, 1975

Harald Schmitt, Posters of politicians outside a factory before a visit by members of the State Council, Schopkau, 1980


Thomas Hoepker, A collecting station for bottles and glass in East Berlin, 1975

Harald Schmitt, A village near Dresden, 1979


Thomas Hoepker, Onlookers wait for a parade in Weimar, 1975

Harald Schmitt, Parade commemorating the 20th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall 1981


Thomas Hoepker, Russians carry historic 1945 victory flag in a Free German Youth (FDJ) vehicle at a parade for the 25th anniversary of the GDR, East Berlin, 1974

Harald Schmitt, German skaters in front of the TV tower, East Berlin, 1982


Thomas Hoepker, A building site in East Berlin, 1974

Harald Schmitt, A construction worker repairs his 15-year-old Trabant in East Berlin, 1977


Thomas Hoepker, A concrete multistory residential building for workers under construction in East Berlin, 1974

Harald Schmitt, View from the City Hall tower in Dresden, 1980

Thomas Hoepker, Apartment blocks with poster showing East German leader Erich Honecker in Halle, 1975

Harald Schmitt, Portrait of Erich Honecker in workers’ union holiday quarters on the Baltic Coast, 1982


Harald Schmitt, A stoneware factory in Bitterfeld, 1981

Thomas Hoepker, Brown coal power plant near Leipzig, 1990


Thomas Hoepker, Soviet soldiers and their children on the 30th anniversary of Germany’s liberation from fascism in Lebus,1975

Harald Schmitt, Parade commemorating the 20th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall, 1981

Thomas Hoepker, Members of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party, with leader Erich Honecker on the far left, East Berlin, 1975

Harald Schmitt, Parade commemorating the 20th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall, 1981


Thomas Hoepker, First-grade students in a school in East Berlin, 1975

Harald Schmitt, A daycare in Cottbus, 1978


Harald Schmitt, A small village near Dresden, 1979

Thomas Hoepker, Milka cow advertising chocolate at a new shopping mall in Rostock after the reunification of Germany, 1991


Thomas Hoepker

Lingerie shop window in Weimar during the 1000th anniversary of the city’s founding, Weimar, 1975

Window display of hair salon decorated for Christmas, East Berlin, 1974

A window of the Ministry of Culture’s Office of Events, East Berlin,1975

Harald Schmitt

Lingerie shop window, Wittenberg,1979

Photos of Congolese Head of State Joachim Yhomby-Opango and East German leader Erich Honecker in a grocery store, East Berlin, 1977

Shop window with “Live Healthy” sign, Kyritz,1982


Slideshow images

Harald Schmitt, Young pioneers salute during the 20th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall, 1981

Thomas Hoepker, Costumed dancers take a break behind the stage at Friedrichstadt Palace, East Berlin, 1984


Thomas Hoepker, Customers wait in line in an East German Trading Organization department store, East Berlin, 1975

Harald Schmitt, Production of the “Original Dresden Stollen,� 1981


Thomas Hoepker, Sorb women in traditional garb in a village near Bautzen, 1975

Harald Schmitt, A Sorb woman and child near Bautzen, 1978


Harald Schmitt, Car-racing champions with Trabant, 1978

Thomas Hoepker, A covered car in Friedrichshain Park, East Berlin, 1984


Thomas Hoepker, Vacationers on the Baltic Coast, 1974

Harald Schmitt, Father’s Day celebration in the Harz Mountains, 1979


Harald Schmitt, New Year’s Reception for the Diplomatic Corps at the Palace of the Republic in East Berlin, 1979

Thomas Hoepker, Boy with guinea pig in a wrecked car in Saxony, 1990


Thomas Hoepker, Schoolchildren in Greifswald, 1974

Harald Schmitt, Children’s Spartakiade (sports festival) in East Berlin, 1981


Thomas Hoepker, Spectators betting at a horse race near East Berlin, 1974

Harald Schmitt, Two women hitchhiking through East Germany, 1981


Harald Schmitt, National Youth Festival of the GDR with miniature tank, East Berlin, 1979

Thomas Hoepker, A cameraman films soldiers in a parade marking the 35th anniversary of East Germany, East Berlin, 1984


Thomas Hoepker, Music corps of the Free German Youth performs in front of Lenin Statue, East Berlin, 1974

Harald Schmitt, The East German rock band Karat, 1979


WENDE

MUSEUM O F T H E C O L D WA R

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Profile for Wende Museum

See Thy Neighbor: Stern Photographers Thomas Hoepker and Harald Schmitt in the GDR  

This exhibition is currently on view through our virtual portal. To enter the exhibition, please click on the exhibition title on the front...

See Thy Neighbor: Stern Photographers Thomas Hoepker and Harald Schmitt in the GDR  

This exhibition is currently on view through our virtual portal. To enter the exhibition, please click on the exhibition title on the front...

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