In the former GDR, photography was not valued as an artistic genre in its own right. Realistic representations of life were banned by massive government propaganda. Dissent was not tolerated. It is remarkable, therefore, that East German photographers time and again managed to capture people’s lives in all their diversity, effectively questioning the self-constructed image of the GDR. The city and its inhabitants were the focus of this kind of social documentary photography. Taking photos of every-day life in the divided post-war city of Berlin as living witnesses to history, Arnold, Fischer and Richter are among the leading representatives of their art. They were silent observers who never produced “event pictures” or constructed sceneries around their subjects, which might explain the peculiar gloominess of their black-and-white images. For the first time, the three photographers appear side by side in an exhibition thanks to the collaboration between Museum für bildende Künste in Leipzig and the Evelyn Richter Archiv of the foundation Ostdeutsche Sparkassenstiftung founded in 2009. Apart from being able to compare their styles, visitors will learn about their different working conditions and professional careers, which offer a key to understanding their respective works. Ursula Arnold briefly had to give up photography as she was unable to reconcile independent projects and her assignments as a photojournalist, whereas Arno Fischer and Evelyn Richter established links to the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig (Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig), using other means to avoid censorship and repression.