What are some brands that have disappeared

12 Berlin brands that no longer exist - from AEG to Wertheim

They shaped Berlin for a long time, but have now disappeared: old Berlin brands from AEG to Bolle to Wertheim. Labels and companies are part and parcel of the identity of modern people. Many children are more familiar with logos than they are with animals and plants. Countless companies and institutions have disappeared in Berlin, they have been wound up, closed, taken over or have gone bankrupt. Here are 12 Berlin brands that no longer exist.


The Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft was founded in Berlin in the late 19th century. The company existed for a good 100 years and in some places belonged to the largest electrical companies in the world. They produced pretty much everything from kitchen appliances to heating technology and car radios that had a plug or a battery compartment.

The architect Peter Behrens built a famous production hall in Moabit for “AEG”, which is one of the classics of modernism in Berlin, and he also designed the classic logo with the three letters. In 1996 the group announced the dissolution, although some trademark rights were sold, but the "AEG" no longer exists.

air Berlin

The fate of “Air Berlin” affected the whole country. Time and again, Germany's second largest airline was facing ruin, but then managed to stay in business. Until 2017 anyway, then it was over. Interestingly, the airline was founded by a US pilot who started offering flights to West Berlin in 1978. Initially, the company was based in Miami, which was relocated to Berlin after reunification.

Berliner Bürgerbräu

From 1869 beer was brewed in Friedrichshagen. Bockbier, Pils, Berliner Weisse and Bernauer Schwarzbier were launched in the “Berliner Bürgerbräu” brewery. They exported all the way to Japan and in 2008 they tried to stop the brewery's decline with the production of the “1. Berliner Bio Pils "to prevent. Vain. In 2010 the barrel was empty and the Berlin brand was over.

The naming rights went to the Radeberger Group, and a brewery museum was temporarily set up in the listed complex, which is one of the most exciting brewery buildings in Berlin.


Rent, Bewag, Gasag and Telephone. You used to have to pay for that in Berlin if you lived here. The electricity and water supplier market was not yet open and Bewag was the company that supplied the electricity. That's how it went.

The Berliner Städtische Elektrizitätswerke was founded in 1884, the city was supplied with electricity until 2009, then a deal was concluded with the Swedish energy company Vattenfall. The good old "Bewag" became part of the new group and the brand disappeared.


Not to be confused with a Scandinavian department store chain of the same name. "Bilka" stood for "buy cheap" from the 1950s and was the low-price department store chain of the Hertie group, a kind of German "Woolworth". Until the 1980s, “Bilka” had numerous branches in West Berlin, for example on Kottbusser Damm in Kreuzberg, Joachimsthaler Strasse in Charlottenburg and on Müllerstrasse in Wedding. Around 1989 Hertie sold the no longer profitable chain. It was over with the Berlin brand, the locations then continued under different names.


The funny Bolle man with the bell in his hand was part of everyday life in the city. The supermarket chain that emerged from the C. Bolle dairy has been supplying Berliners with all kinds of food, milk and meat products since 1933. In the 1990s, the Spar Group took over the branches, and from 2011 the old Bolle stores will operate under the Rewe logo.

Bolle became legendary on May 1, 1987, when the branch at Görlitzer Bahnhof was looted and burned down in the course of the riots in Kreuzberg.


It took a lot of courage and visionary entrepreneurship. Cargolifter AG, founded in Berlin in 1996, wanted to revolutionize the heavy transport market with airships. The old Zeppelin technology, which goes back to the German Reich, failed grandly back then.

Although the company built a few airships and a gigantic airship hangar in Brandenburg, the largest free-standing building in the world, the idea did not really take off. In 2002 "Cargolifter" declared bankruptcy, the cigar-shaped airships disappeared from the Berlin sky - and the Tropical Islands fun pool moved into the hall.

Convent (VEB Berliner Zigarettenfabriken)

Like so much else that was produced in the eastern part of Berlin, the GDR cigarette brand "Convent" disappeared from the market. It was manufactured by VEB Berliner Zigarettenfabriken, which was the historical successor to the cigarette factories founded by the Berlin entrepreneur Josef Garbáty during the German Empire.

One of the few Eastern cigarette brands that survived the change was “Club”, which Reynolds Tobacco continued to produce after 1990. But for “Convent” and many other GDR glow sticks it has been smoked up.


Another supermarket and perhaps the most famous that West Berlin had, after reunification a few were added in the east as well. Reichelt was as present in the cityscape as Rewe or Edeka are today. Everything was there and those who didn't want to go to the discounter went to Reichelt.

The company, which was founded in Berlin in 1919, had 53 branches. After Edeka took over the chain, the name was gradually given up. Since 2016 there are no more "Reichelts". Incidentally, the company headquarters were relocated from Berlin to Grünheide, and in future they will reside in the immediate vicinity of the “Tesla” Gigafactory.


The turning point changed a lot. The GDR companies were privatized or ceased, the Berlin allowance and subsidies ceased and Berlin became less attractive as an industrial location. There were also upheavals in public broadcasting.

The Sender Free Berlin, SFB for short, supplied the Berliners and the surrounding area with radio and television programs from 1953 to 2003. Many programs are still legendary today. In May 2003 the SFB merged with the ORB, which became the RBB, the Berlin-Brandenburg broadcasting company. The Berlin brand SFB is history.


Berlin used to be something that Silicon Valley is today. In the Prussian metropolis, visionary entrepreneurs have founded a number of high-tech companies that have risen to become international frontrunners. AEG and Siemens are among them, as well as the "Telefunken Society for wireless telegraphy m.b.H.", which was entered in the register in 1903 and which from 1955 was only called "Telefunken" for short. At that time, the company set standards and also impressed with funny commercials.

They built radars and televisions, radios and record players, radios, and in the end Telefunken even got involved in the cell phone market. The globally operating group has registered well over 20,000 patents.

The company earned a fortune and the Telefunken skyscraper on Ernst-Reuter-Platz stood for the economic boom in West Berlin and state-of-the-art technology “Made in West Germany”. In 1967 Telefunken merged with AEG, and then the slow decline followed. The brand still existed, was repeatedly resold and is still used here and there today. The old shine is gone for a long time.


The history of Wertheim fills entire books, so in brief: The roots of the department store group are in Stralsund, but the Wertheim family invested in a department store in Berlin as early as 1885. Business was good, and branches in Oranienstrasse in Kreuzberg and Leipziger Strasse followed.

Wertheim experienced the rise of Berlin to a cosmopolitan city and had a lasting impact on it. In the Roaring Twenties, the brightly lit consumer temples were part of the city's myth. Then came the end for the time being. The Nazis persecuted and expropriated the Jewish-German entrepreneurial family.

After the Second World War there was a fresh start and in 1952 a Wertheim department store was opened again on Wilmersdorfer Straße. Karstadt took over the company in the 1990s and in 2009 the logos disappeared from the cityscape.

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