Like its fellow Eastern Bloc nations Poland and Hungary, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) had a very lively neon culture that cast a colorful glow on a very dark time. Many of the GDR’s neon signs advertised local businesses and enterprises. Others were used for propaganda purposes. Ultimately both were used to proclaim the triumphs of the socialist state to the masses at home and abroad.
Today many examples of East German neon can still be found along the main thoroughfare of the former East Berlin, Karl-Marx-Allee, as well as the former East German capital of Leipzig. With the reunification of Germany in 1990 and the rapid advancement of capitalism in the East, many of those neon signs were torn down or turned off as state-owned enterprises were replaced with West German companies and foreign multi-nationals, but many others have survived the fall of the Wall.
Here are the East German neon signs listed in this section:
- The “Spoon Family” sign (Leipzig)