The East German pedestrian traffic light symbols, or‚ Ampelmännchen (little traffic light man) are Berlin born and bred. They came into being in 1961, the year I was born, when, in response to the growing threat of road traffic accidents, the traffic psychologist, Karl Peglau introduced the first pedestrian signals to the GDR capital. And so the vehicle traffic light, was joined by the pedestrian traffic light. Its design was psychologically conceived, because road-users react more quickly to appealing symbols. I know we did. 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.
RM and I followed this guy all over Berlin, and he kept us safe, and he became so endearing that we had to go to the flagship store and bring back a few images of him to the states.
As a feminist, I wondered about a female version. In 2004, a female version was introduced as Ampelmännchen, the Ampelfrau, which was installed on some traffic lights in Dresden and other locations around Germany. I would follow her too.