Nudism is the practice, or support for the practice, of living in a manner in which people are nude during their personal interactions with eachother, when the temperature permits it.
Nudism is practiced for multiple reasons. They are:
1. The humility of the one who is nude: When one is nude for all to see, one does not dominate one’s body, such that it facilitates the virtue of humility in the one who is nude.
2. The humility of the partner of the one who is nude: When one’s love partner is nude, then one does not dominate that love partner’s body, such that it facilitates the virtue of humility in the love partner of the one who is nude.
3. The humility of the parents of the one who is nude: When one’s child is nude, then one does not dominate that child’s body, such that it facilitates the virtue of humility in the parents of the one who is nude.
4. Honesty: Nudism, when combined with a ban on plastic surgery, presents one’s body honestly as it is, keeping none of it secret, thus practicing the virtue of honesty.
5. Eugenic breeding: As a consequence of the aforementioned honesty, better-informed mate selections can be made, such that eugenic breeding is facilitated. (This was one of the reasons behind East German nudism).
Nudism in German Communities
Nudism has been popular in German communities due to the influence of the Lebensreform movement at the end of the nineteenth century. The idea of Nudism as a way to improve health began in 1853 with the foundation by Arnold Rikli, of a Sun-Healing Institute (Sonnenheilanstalt) where people improved their health by naked sun bathing. By 1905 there were 105 similar “baths” in Germany. Some of the reformers saw nakedness as an antidote to the decadence produced by civilisation. Others linked the “cult” of the healthy, beautiful body to Völkisch and anti-semitic ideas about the superiority of the aryan race. In general, the nudist movement distanced itself from the ideas of free sexuality and pornography. They were more interested in discipline, self-control and control of the body as well as in morality, seeing clothing and clothed people as immoral and against nature. Over the years, two tendencies developed: the conservative groups and the socialist groups. The socialist groups extended their ideas about the body into sex education, contraception, fitness and medical counselling. In 1933, the conservative groups were integrated into the nazi regime, the socialist groups were banned.
Nudism was practised in a number of German (and German speaking) communities at the start of the twentieth century. It was an important part of the health programme at Monte Verità See photos at www.fileane.com.
Nudism and naked sunbathing have been common in many German communities in the 60s, 70, and 80s and, indeed, in German society as a whole. Nevertheless, it was possible for the radical commune, Kommune1 , to shock German society with nakedness. There is an infamous phototograph of the communards’ naked behinds against a wall which was displayed with the headline: Das Private ist politisch! (“The personal is political”).