It grew to be huge in Germany in a short space of time, with Sylt in Germany laying claim to the first established nudist beach in 1920. Naturism, or nudism, faced opposition when the Nazis began their rise to power in Germany, but there was something of a backlash from the nudists, who placed so much importance on the exposure of the skin to the air for health benefits, allied to an emphasis on physical wellbeing and exercise, that the Nazis backed down to a large degree. There was also a great deal of opposition due to the fact that many leading Nazis were nudists themselves!
In much naturist literature, from Germany and beyond, this emphasis on physical wellbeing was paramount. Indeed, a weekend at the local nudist camp might well have involved a lot of physical activity building facilities, clearing streams, involvement in physical exercise as much as simply taking their clothes off! The photos of the era (above and below) show nudists swimming, taking exercise and such like. Not for nothing is the UK’s (and the world’s!) longest running naturist magazine called Health & Efficiency!
Yep. The emphasis, in the early years, was very much on health, rather than just taking your clothes off. Part of the route to health was, of course, consuming as much Vitamin D as possible. As it’s absorbed via sunlight, the best way to absorb as much as possible was by exposing as much skin to sunlight as possible, ergo, naturism and physical exercise.
In many ways, naturism or FKK was simply ahead of the curve by a century. In 2017 we’ve got all these health food shops, an emphasis again on physical exercise as so many of us have sedentary jobs, and so on. The early naturists simply got there first, 100 years and more ago.
While partially suppressed by Nazism, German naturism continued, and even thrived after WW2 and the establishment of the ‘Iron Curtain‘. It was hugely popular, for example, in the former East Germany/DDR. In a paranoid atmosphere of citizen spying on citizen, and an estimated 10% of the population being informants for the intelligence service Stasi, the appeal of naturism was clear. No clothes to hide secret recording devices, and the population capable of speaking more freely in a naturist environment.
This blog has long reported on the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was thought to be a naturist and we’ve published photos previously of those suggested to be the German Chancellor. For the record, we don’t believe it is her, and have said so, but it hasn’t laid the rumours to rest. The UK’s Daily Star newspaper even went as far as suggesting that she has refused to deny the photos are her. Over the years, our various blog posts on that matter have been hugely, massively popular. It’s as if people want to believe a world leader is a naturist.
Indeed, it has become such a ‘thing’ that a search on Google for ‘Angela Merkel Nude’ leads back to numerous postings on this very blog!
I repeat, I’m not convinced the photo are Frau Merkel. Although I’d certainly be delighted, when she leaves office, that she said ‘actually, yes, that’s me!’. Such a boost for naturism!
Anyway, let’s track back to the 1920s, pre-Nazism, and the early days of nudism/naturism.
Our friend Abbey, who lives her SL in a retro/vintage fashion (including, but not exclusively, in a naturist sense (above), has been to the Berlin 1920s Project sim, where each Saturday evening there’s a nudist hour (every Saturday from 1200pm SLT, 8pm GMT, 9pm CET) in their Volksbad, or People’s Baths.
Abbey reports…‘no one apart from me and my significant other, but it was a lovely indoor SL swim and we’ll do it again!’
Where naturist opportunities present themselves, people, grab them! In or out of SL. 1920s Berlin isn’t a naturist sim, but they offer naturist potential. Use them or lose them!
And that seems like the perfect jumping on place for 2017’s Vintage Season! Over the next three weeks, our emphasis will be on vintage naturism. I’ve long been seeking the time and space to visit Berlin 1920s for myself, but circumstances have conspired against me and will do so again next Saturday, when I’m in Dublin, Ireland, for work related stuff and unlikely to be able to post at all.
However, two weeks hence, March 18th, I plan to be in Berlin, 1920, in SL, so if you want a chat, make a date and record the slurl.