The East German Ampelmännchen turns 60

“Ampelmännchen” – Used in some German traffic lights, 1961 (original design) (Source)
An Ampelmädchen street light at a pedestrian crossing in Dresden, Germany – photo by Iago4096 (Source)

Ampelmännchen (German: [ˈampl̩ˌmɛnçən] (listen); literally little traffic light man, diminutive of Ampelmann [ampl̩ˈman]) is the symbol shown on pedestrian signals in Germany. Prior to German reunification in 1990, the two German states had different forms for the Ampelmännchen, with a generic human figure in West Germany, and a generally “male” figure wearing a hat in the East.

The Ampelmännchen is a beloved symbol in former East Germany,[1] “enjoy[ing] the privileged status of being one of the few features of East Germany to have survived the end of the Iron Curtain with his popularity unscathed.”[2] After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Ampelmännchen acquired cult status and became a popular souvenir item in the tourism business. (Source)

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