All were smiling and were naked, and soon after the picture appeared online, gleeful commenters across the web began insisting that the woman on the left was Angela Merkel. It would hardly count as conspiracy theory. Public nakedness is common in the former G. One regularly observes men and women of all backgrounds — from dull public servants to service workers to members of the German intelligentsia — relaxing and socializing without any clothes. They read alone in the park or chat in groups at the beach; some prepare to swim, while others wash down bites of bratwurst with pilsner. Despite the aggressive-sounding name, there is nothing confrontational or self-righteous or even erotic about it. Unlike in America, where public nudity typically has gay or countercultural connotations, in modern Germany it seems to have none.
A 'free body': Germany's nudist culture
The healthy hobby
Just as their trains are run with efficiency, their rules are made with reason. This fact of life is so sensible no local would dare stray from the path of cultural competence. So, if you see a sign that says "FKK," the proper German thing to do is take off all your clothes. This community-based form of naturism started in the late 19th century when Germans began exploring nudity as a means to improve their mental and physical well-being. Germany's first nude beach opened on the northern island of Sylt in Adolf Koch, a Berlin -born schoolteacher and early FKK advocate, led the naturism movement in post-World War I Germany by opening 13 training facilities devoted to nude athletics. The Nazi regime shut Koch's schools and largely curtailed the practice due to its socialist sentiments, but naturism quickly regained popularity after the war. Related article: All the questions you're too embarrassed to ask about naturism.
Facebook Twitter Email. CNN — When I was a kid, my father always used to sunbathe nude in our garden at weekends. In public pools, children of all ages were allowed to run around naked all the time. Even now I'm comfortable with getting naked in the sauna or gym changing room. Maybe it's because I'm German. Nudism is traditionally popular in Germany, a country considered buttoned up and conservative compared with, let's say, Italy. When you travel there, you'll see that baring all is normal in saunas, swimming pools, the park and on the beach. Summer in the parks of Berlin and Munich brings the chance of encountering a middle-aged, bronzed German wearing only a hat and the BILD-Zeitung, Germany's favorite tabloid. Forget sausages and beer, the sign of true German-ness is publicly disrobing with absolutely zero self-consciousness. For me, it's often just quicker and easier to do a clean strip at the pool or sauna than frantically trying to hide the bits that everyone else is already displaying without batting an eyelid.