Category Archives: Media

Were nudists really told to cover themselves up because of immigrants?

Various media outlets around the globe reported that a local authority in Germany banned nudism because of a planned refugee shelter. Vice investigated these reports and found that the story was a misunderstanding.

According to the reports of German new sites Bild and Focus (which have subsequently been picked up by international news outlets) …

… nudists at a club near the historic town of Meissen were outraged when their local authority suggested they only swim in the local lake with swimming costumes. The reason is a new refugee shelter being built on the other side of the lake. When the nudists first heard of the refugee camp, they requested a privacy screen from the local council, but instead received a set of rules regarding “German swimming etiquette”. Among these rules, number 9 stated that “the use of the swimming facilities is only permitted with a swimming costume”. The nudists though this to be an affront to the treasured German tradition of Freikörperkultur (“free body culture”), and said that since they’ve been skinny dipping on these grounds for more than a century, they have no intention of adhering to these rules.

The German version of Vice investigated the story, and found that while there will indeed be a refugee camp near the aforementioned lake, the rules that seem to tell the nudists to cover themselves up have been misunderstood.

By contacting the German Swimming Society that created the brochure, the reporters of Vice clarified that these guidelines were meant to inform the refugees about the norms of using public swimming pools in Germany, and were clearly not suitable for nudist bathing areas.

Furthermore, in its entirety the infamous rule number 9 states that “the use of the swimming facilities is only permitted with a swimming costume (not street clothes)”, making it obvious that this rule was never intended to limit Freikörperkultur.

As for who ended up redacting the (not street clothes) part of the rule (the editors of either Bild or Focus, or the representative of the local authority who sent the nudist club the brochure), the Vice article does not give a definitive answer to.