Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker’s upcoming book Views of a Vanished Country contains photographs of East Germany shot over a period of some 30 years. It gives a unique look into the daily life of East Germans from the time the Berlin Wall was erected to the time it was demolished. TIME talked with Hoepker about his book.
Over a two-year period I encountered scenes both bloody and harrowing: hospital emergency rooms, morgues and the confused aftermaths of random shooting sprees. After every new massacre, the newspaper headlines were always the same: “We thought we were the safest place in America.”