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A Very German Idea of Freedom: Nude Ping-Pong, Nude Sledding, Nude Just About Anything

The first time Michael Adamski saw his mother-in-law naked it was awkward.

But it wasn’t as awkward as seeing his boss naked.

Mr. Adamski, a police officer in Berlin who investigates organized crime, first started going to a nudist camp at a lake outside Berlin after he met his wife, whose family owned a cabin there.

One weekend, when he had just about gotten used to stripping in front of his in-laws, he bumped into the highest-ranking colonel in his precinct — who promptly challenged him to a game of table tennis.

Nudists at a lake in Germany
Nudists at a lake in Germany CreditCreditLena Mucha for The New York Times

They have been on first-name terms ever since.

“Once you’ve played Ping-Pong with someone naked, you can’t call them ‘colonel’ anymore,” Mr. Adamski said as he prepared to join a triathlon where the swimming and running portions of the race were naked. “Nudity is a great leveler.”

Germans love to get naked. They have been getting naked in public for over a hundred years, when early naturists rebelled against the grime of industrialization and then the mass slaughter of World War I.

“Free body culture” — basically bathing the whole body in water and sunlight while preferably also doing some exercise — became the battle cry for a healthy, harmonious lifestyle and an antidote to a destructive modernity.

Mr. Adamski’s camp, founded in 1921, was the first licensed nudist club on a lakeside in the country. Nearly 100 years later, entire stretches of German waterfronts are designated as nudist beaches. There is a nudist hiking trail. There are sporting events from nude yoga to nude sledding. German saunas are mixed and naked. People regularly take their clothes off on television, too.

Continued…Read full original article…

Source: New York Times

Original publication Aug. 31, 2019

Posted on NatCorn 1 week ago

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