Naked Germany: Health, Race and the Nation
What is the connection between nudism and Nazism? From its origins in nineteenth-century Germany, nudism was conceived and practiced as a means by which the German race could reform itself into a racially purer people. The nudist formula for regeneration was first to create healthy Germans by curing and preventing disease and moral hypocrisy through heavy doses of nudity, sunlight and air. The now healthy and beautiful Germans could then begin to replenish their national stock, ultimately breeding a racially pure and natural Volk. Nudist ideology was a potent combination of Darwinism, "folk" nationalism, and nature therapy--all deeply rooted in racial theory and designed to transform Germany into a nudist, racial utopia. In considering this often-overlooked aspect of German culture, the author sheds new light on the popularity of Nazi theories of racial hygiene and the history of the body.
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