Germany’s naked truth

German socialists saw nudism as a weapon of class struggle. George Hull investigates how nudist movements grew out of the crowded, dirty cities of the late 19th century before being co-opted by the Nazis in their quest for racial purity

A scene from the German film 'Ways to Strength and Beauty', 1925. (Ullstein Bild via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the September 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

There can’t be many sources of genuine culture shock left for a Brit travelling in western Europe. In Germany there is at least one: stumbling upon naked people in the most unlikely places.

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