Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

Categories: Europe | Society

It is known that the Germans — one of the most notorious Nations. Stories about the joint baths for men and women, Nude beaches and parties in the style of "Nude" in Germany has long been no surprise. But why serious and pedantic Germans so just refer to its nakedness? This was the BBC asked an American journalist Christine Arneson, who lived a long time in Germany and has studied this interesting question. (Caution! Nude).

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

Many Germans, especially the inhabitants of large cities, I love naturism and I think that it helps them become closer to nature. Almost every German Park you may surprised to find people who sunbathe in the Nude or even play this form of tennis or football.

Christine lived for four years in Berlin and, according to her, could feel the German attitude to nudity and to understand their desire to vacation in the buff. For America, where the journalist spent most of his life, nudity of a sexual nature. But in Germany everything is different — there you can undress in ordinary life situations and no one will take it as a sexual act.

The first time the American was surprised by some moments associated with nudity, but then she gradually got used to the saunas, where it is customary to undress completely and to the pools where all the default splash naked. Already one year later, Arneson was much easier to apply to nudity and even surprised the masseuse undressed with him without hesitation. He admitted to Christine that he is almost always necessary to persuade the Americans to get rid of the clothes for the massage.

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

But all this stuff, believes journalist and a real "baptism" can be considered the moment when the first faced with mass public nudity. For Christine Arneson "istiny moment" came while Jogging in the Park Hasenheide that in the Berlin district of neukölln. There the woman saw a whole cluster of naked bodies sunbathing on the grass under the warm summer sun.

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

The supporters of this movement refer to nudity as a kind of philosophy. They think that naturism brings man back to its origins, to nature. FKK is not only exposure, but also following a healthy lifestyle and, last but not least, proper and healthy diet.

The strange thing is that FKK was born... in the GDR! Yes, in the socialist Republic, where, apparently, such as nudism and naturism is not the place. But to understand how the Germans allowed them to strip the Communist party, you need to immerse yourself in the history of the question, because the German attitude to nudity was formed long before the formation of the GDR, in the 19th century.

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

Associate Professor of modern history at the Free University of Berlin Arnd Bauerkemper says:

In the early 20th century throughout Germany began to emerge FKK beaches, which enjoyed a certain demand. But the real excitement around the naturism went up during the period of the Weimar Republic (1918-1929). The number of people wishing to sunbathe in the buff, has increased several times and the beaches are open even in the deepest province.

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

The Nazis came to power, immediately banned the FKK movement, declaring it immoral. But by 1942 to exposure of the steel to be softer and some of the event supporters of naturism still managed to hold. After the end of world war II for the movement of naturists came a real Renaissance, and, oddly enough, much more active naturists operated in Eastern Germany. Nudity was not considered a bourgeois phenomenon and has become for many a certain outlet in my life.

In East Germany, where residents were under the strict control of the security services, were restricted in foreign travel and constantly experienced a shortage of basic consumer goods, the FKK movement was a breath of fresh air and the government knew it, leaving this "safety valve" for relief of tension in society.

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

Hanno Hochmut, historian from the research center for contemporary history in Potsdam, was born and raised in East Germany. He recalls how in childhood went with parents to the Nude beaches this time was a kind of escapism available to every inhabitant of the GDR. First undressed with caution, but then it became the norm.

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

But that all changed with the coming to power of Erich Honecker in 1971. If the nudists just condoned all the actions against him were carried out at the discretion of the police, under a new Secretary General allowed the FKK and naturists could no longer be held as petty bullies.

By allowing to be naked, GDR authorities were convinced that getting into the hands of a good trump card, liabilities to the international community. They seemed to be saying, "Look, we are free socialist society of happy people who can be naked if they like it". The country began to open new beaches, for which demand has been impressive.

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

I wonder what the FKK movement is beginning to decline immediately after the fall of the Berlin wall and the unification of East and West Germany. The totalitarian regime fell and something to prove to the world there was no sense, therefore, the support of naturists at the state level ceased.

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

Despite this, the FKK has become an integral part of German culture and that to undress in the Park and sunbathe no longer need to classify themselves to any movement — it is quite natural for any free citizen of the country. Christine Arneson says that zone for supporters of naturism are very easy to find in any city in Germany and these places are usually inextricably linked with sport and recreation.

Well, for those who definitely wants to be involved in the FKK movement, and to communicate with like-minded people, there are clubs and organisations for the fans of unity with nature. The most famous is the Berlin sports club FSV named Adolf Koch, which offers yoga nudist, nudist volleyball, badminton and even table tennis.

Nudity as the norm: why the Germans did not hesitate to undress in public

Naturism has its supporters not only among Germans but also in British society, despite the longstanding Puritan tradition.

Keywords: Bath | GDR | Naked Germans | Nude | Nudity | Beaches | Philosophy

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