Gera was once a district town in the GDR and had 135,000 inhabitants. After the reunification, the industrial city of East Thuringia suffered a sharp decline in its population: today there are about 95,000 people living there. But recently the number of Geraers is growing again. For ZEIT ONLINE, photographer Uli Kaufmann has portrayed people who have stayed or moved in - who enjoy living there and make out Gera.


Michael is 21 and is an apprentice metalworker. © Uli Kaufmann for ZEIT ONLINE

Karl-Heinz, 89, has been through his apprenticeship years - he walks the weekly market and does his shopping there. © Uli Kaufmann for ZEIT ONLINE

Rasche and Maria, 17 and 20 years old, visit the SBBS, a vocational school for health, social and social education. © Uli Kaufmann for ZEIT ONLINE


© Uli Kaufmann for ZEIT ONLINE

The woman in the red jacket is called Cornelia. She is 51 years old and works together with Simone, who is two years older, at the weekly market. For 20 years, they have this stand.

The man leaning against his car has worked as a contractor in the GDR. To his right: Johannes and Gabriel, 16 years old, are students at a grammar school. © Uli Kaufmann for ZEIT ONLINE

Armin (42) and his ten-year-old son Abdulkalk from Syria. The two have been in Germany for two years. © Uli Kaufmann for ZEIT ONLINE



Marlene (60) has been the head of the clothing store in the district of Bieblach-Ost for 20 years. © Uli Kaufmann for ZEIT ONLINE

Jessica is 24 and on her way to work agency.

Jordan in the green jacket, 19 years old, visits SBBS just like Rasche and Maria. © Uli Kaufmann for ZEIT ONLINE

Anneliese and her friend - they are on their way to sports. Both have always lived in Gera. © Uli Kaufmann for ZEIT ONLINE