West Germany: Light Friends

Swedes practice nudism with erotic grace, the French with gay abandon; British nudists even manage to shed the stiff upper lip. Among West Germans, unzipping has become a solemn Teutonic cult whose practitioners rarely even wear a smile. Banned by the Nazis as "one of the greatest dangers to German morality and culture.'' nudism has enjoyed a spectacular boom since the end of World War II. As prosperous Germans have been able to afford more and better clothes, they yearned all the more to take them off—except, of course, in austerely Communist East Germany, where even collective nudism...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!