German Of The Day: Litfaßsäule

That means advertising column.

Pillar

Take a good look. They won’t be around much longer. They’re going to a better place – the same place the LPs, dial phones, typewriters and carrier pigeons went.

They have been an integral part of the city’s furniture for so long, Berliners admit to taking them for granted.

But concrete advertising pillars, known as Litfaßsäule – or Litfaß columns – after the man who invented them, around 3,000 of which dot the German capital, are under threat. A low-key, grassroots protest has sprung up in an effort to save them from destruction and sparked a trend involving writing messages on the pillars, as well as poems and heart felt tributes.

It takes two or three people to group hug a Litfaßsäule, and that has also become another way of highlighting the reluctance to let them go.

“I’m certainly still more drawn to a catchy poster on the Litfaßsäule, than I am to something that flashes up on my mobile phone which I’m likely to swipe away in annoyance.”

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