“Eiffe, der Bär” (Eiffe, the Bear) was Germany’s first graffiti artist. Swept up in the student movement of the ‘60s (and some troubles of his own), Eiffe began scrawling his anarchist and nonsensical sayings all over Hamburg in 1968. He soon became widely known, because wherever he would leave his messages (such as “Eiffe for President! All Traffic Lights to Yellow!”), he would also leave his calling card, complete with home address and telephone number. When the Hamburger Hochbahn issued him a bill of 900 German marks for damages to their property, he replied by issuing them a bill of 900 marks for his artwork.
He was also known for a peculiar style of dress- a suit, white shirt, and tie- that made him suspicious to other young people. However, the message that he repeatedly pushed, on the subversive power of fun, eventually attracted a lot of supporters.
He was finally arrested in May of ’68 when he drove his Fiat into the hall of the central railway station in Hamburg. On it was written, “FREE EIFFE REPUBLIC.”
A 1995 film entitled Eiffe For President; All Traffic Lights to Yellow documents his life as a graffiti artist, activist, and “fun guerrilla.”