One of the things I like best about Berlin and its surroundings, is that there are so many places, where you can officially hang out naked, whenever the weather is allowing it. After one of those long Berlin winters, each spring this is one of the things to look forward to. One reason why there are so many official and also unofficial nude places in and out of town is Berlins history. During the time of german separation, the eastern part of Berlin was the capital of GDR – the German Democratic Republic. In the GDR, the “Freikörperkultur (FKK)” – which translates to “Free Body Culture” was extremely popular. Most families would enjoy their leisure or holiday time outside at a nude beach of the Baltic Sea or one of the many lakes in the country. It just had been the regular thing to do. Why, you ask? Daily life in socialism was restricted, regulated and monitored in many ways. Citizens of the GDR always were aware of that state’s secret service never slept. So being naked at a beach – only surrounded by people that were all naked too was visible proof that at least during those moments no one was recording what you were talking about. Another soft factor might have contributed to FKK’s popularity as well: in socialism most items were scarce. Fancy clothes were one of them. So if you don’t actually need to wear a swimsuit why bother queue for hours in front of a shop to get your hands on one?
Although FKK has become less popular after Germany’s reunification there still are many spots where it’s still popular. Most lakes in Brandenburg (the federal country surrounding Berlin) feature at least one area where people sunbath and swim naked. But even lakes inside the city (i.e.Teufelssee, Plötzensee, Müggelsee), some of the public pools (Stadtbad Neukölln is hosting some fabric-free hours per week) and also parks (Tiergarten, Hasenheide) allow public nudity in certain areas. Those places are not only located in the former part of East-Berlin but you can also find them in the part of former West-Berlin.
So my question for you is: Have you ever been to a nude beach? And if yes, what and where is your favorite one? I’d be happy if you’d let me know in the comments below!
All drawings are done in Faber Castell Polychromos Crayons (mostly “Indian Red”) on Paper
Price on request.