Forgotten Berlin: Kaugummiautomatenairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

Forgotten Berlin: Kaugummiautomaten

Kaugummiautomat | Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Kaugummiautomat | Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Like anything worth trying to describe in this world, Berlin is unable to be qualified. There are some persistent themes that weave themselves into the unspoken narrative of Berlin’s cityscape. There are though, indelible patterns of this city, like its inexorable tenacity to move forward and past adversity. It has moved through world wars and oppression. It is because of this that so much of Berlin is abandoned. Sometimes the abandoned becomes transformed and sometimes it just transcends. Here we pay homage to the curious Kaugummiautomaten, or gum-ball machines, that plague the streets of Berlin. They don’t try to hide, but due to their lack of relevance, they’ve inevitably become a part of the minutia.

Some are totally out of use while others seem to still be stocked with candy. Some eat your euros and others seem to dispense nostalgia. They are the underdogs of Berlin’s icons. They can be found all over the city, and all over Germany for that matter; approximately 500,000-800,00 exist. While they are an anomaly to foreigners, to German natives, it’s just a regular old candy machine, not a kitsch cultural leftover. Still, these machines have caught the eyes of expats and Berliners alike because they are undeniably out-of-date, puzzling, and most of all, alluring.

Kaugummiautomat; Berlin, Kreuzberg, Schlesische Straße
Kaugummiautomat; Berlin, Kreuzberg, Schlesische Straße Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Kaugummiautomat; Berlin, Kreuzberg, Wrangelstraße 49 Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Kaugummiautomat Duisburg Marxloh Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Kaugummiautomat Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Kaugummiautomat; Nordenham Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Kaugummiautomat am Landwehrkanal Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Goldener Kaugummiautomat Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Kaugummiautomat Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Kaugummiautomat Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr