History of nudism from a postcommunist viewpoint

On January 28, 2011 the popular Russian internet newspaper Pravda.Ru which pretends to be a kind of successor to the Communist newspaper Pravda (closed in 1991) published an article “Pedantic Germans: Naked and funny” in which the history of nudist movement is considered in brief.

From the article the reader can learn that:

  • the word “nudism” normally causes embarrassed smiles.
  • the lack of clothing is the brightest characteristic of an ardent nudist.
  • nudism is based on the entire philosophy.
  • nudism emerged in Germany between the two world wars. The first public manifestation of naturism disappointed the onlookers.
  • the first naturists considered themselves no less than revolutionary vanguard of militant proletariat. In the 1920s the followers of naturism or nudism were inspired by then trendy ideas of social democracy and communism. (To win against the sleek bourgeois consuming foods rich in vitamins and leading a healthy lifestyle, the working men had to strengthen their body and spirit. Down from the stuffy plants and factories and into the wild!)
  • nude men and women immediately became a tourist attraction in the German capital for local and visiting philistines.
  • socialist ideals gave to mankind not only naturism, but also morning exercises.

The author of the article gives an example of a comic situation related to nudist movement.

On the day of Holy Trinity in 1929, nudists from Saxony scheduled an event similar to the contemporary flash mob in the district of Zwickau-Planica. People learned about the upcoming “show” from the newspapers, which resulted in a steady flow of onlookers, including those from neighboring regions. On Sunday morning, on a large religious holiday, instead of serving in the temples, crowds hurried to look at nudists. However, instead of lewd scenes, their saw the following picture: on a grassy lawn, there were approximately forty to fifty people who have carefully folded their clothes, and were doing pushups, squats and other exercises. There was a crowd of a few thousand people waiting for some kind of orgy and somewhat disappointed with its absence. Sometime later the police showed up and asked the crown to disperse.

Source: Pedantic Germans: Naked and funny – English pravda.ru (the quotes are from the English version of the Internet newspaper)

at the grunewaldsee by running_dog | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

at the grunewaldsee by running_dog | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Image: at the grunewaldsee by running_dog | Flickr – Photo Sharing! (available under a Creative Commons License)

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