I’ve read, more than once, that naturism (FKK – freikoerperkultur– or ‘free body culture’) was popular in the former East Germany because it represented one of the few true freedoms in the country at a time of authoritarian or totalitarian rule. In fact, I’ve read about that from someone who experienced it first hand, Monika, who wrote about it in our ‘My Nude debut’ series. Incidentally, I’ll be bringing that series back later in the year, as it was one of those things that seemed to actively engage with the readership of SL Naturist, with several readers contributing to it.
I’ve been thinking recently about how we in the ‘free’ world are becoming less free as time goes on, with some sort of neocon or neoliberal agenda at work that strips us of our freedoms.
Disturbingly, we’ve even had UK politician Lord Mandelson, as odious a piece of slimy, unlikeable political animal as I could name (and, yes, up to including the creepy Donald Trump) state that ‘we are living in a post-democratic age’.
Google the words ‘post democratic age’ yourself and you’ll be met with a raft of articles in which variations of phrases like ‘we are in the grip of a narrow ruling elite, an “Ideological Caste,” that admits only those into power with the same views’ abound.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the weeks leading up to the UK’s referendum about continued membership of the failed European Union, an organisation that has almost single-handedly, with the unwavering support of self-appointed Chancellor of Europe Angela Merkel, created the humanitarian crisis swamping Europe.
First, I’d encourage you to read an article on naturism in the former East Germany. Having read that, move onto an article on the same blog about allotments, another element of a wider ‘naturism’ that we’ve championed here on SL Naturist.
Possibly a shot of West German naturism (the VW car is the clue here)
Not all, but most, photos can be identified as East German naturism taking place.
We’re a few weeks away from that referendum, but the amount of scare-mongering going on has to be seen to be believed. SL Naturist isn’t really the best place to discuss that issue now, if at all, but to observe this in a wider context. No, the UK isn’t East Berlin, yet, but I was amazed to see a TV report this week in which the Belgian authorities were able to track the movements of the third man involved in the Brussels airport attacks, showing how little real privacy we have. While this will be presented as a case in favour of CCTV by those who wish to snoop, I’m rather more interested in us having privacy. There’s already a raft of people sitting watching these in real time, in order to respond immediately to certain actions, so we’ve got to ask ourselves if we aren’t already behaving, as a society, like the Stasi, East Germany’s notorious secret police.
In the case of East Germany, naturism was already popular before the war, but apparently boomed afterwards, and even further following the building of the Berlin Wall and the existence of the Stasi which had a huge number of operatives and informants spying on their fellow citizens. Naturism was an escape, not only from the regimentation of their lives, but the possibility of being recorded saying ‘subversive’ things covertly. You can’t hide a tape recorder when nude.
Could it be, then, that those who resisted East German authoritarianism did so in the context of naturism?
Sl Naturist has previously posted that there is a possibility that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a naturist in her youth, although we’ve always been at pains to point out that the photographs that allege to be be her almost certainly aren’t of Frau Merkel.
But for many people, the very idea is delicious, to the extent that there’s even a Facebook page that claims she has been naturist in the (recent) past, with ‘a photograph’.
It looks like a bad Photoshop job to me. What’s delicious about it is the idea of a world leader being a naturist, the very fact of which would certainly alter naturism in a global perspective. It is certainly enough of a story to occasionally get a run-out in the German media.
Back here in the UK, we see our rights and freedoms denuded on a weekly basis, with the state increasingly interfering in the actions of private individuals, all under the idea that the nanny state is protecting us (from ‘what’, exactly, is never made clear).
For me, I think that increasing interference in so many aspects of our daily lives is possibly a driver in the rise in naturist numbers (not just in the UK, but right across Europe). Some of us want to be free of our national government’s rules and regulations, if only for a little while. Fifty years ago a direct correlation between wealth and the length os skirts was being made as the mini skirt swept the world: the hemline index
Could it be that, despite the world apparently swinging in a more conservative direction, that interest in naturism increases as authoritarianism has a foothold?