Facebook Twitter Email. CNN — When I was a kid, my father always used to sunbathe nude in our garden at weekends. In public pools, children of all ages were allowed to run around naked all the time. Even now I'm comfortable with getting naked in the sauna or gym changing room. Maybe it's because I'm German.
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During the Cold War and especially after the construction of the Berlin Wall in , many parts of the world had few ways of fully ascertaining what life was like in East Germany. Indeed, the Eastern Bloc state was isolated from the West in both the physical and ideological sense for decades. By Erin Kelly. Like this gallery? Share it: Share Tweet Email. A pantomime theater group eats on a rooftop in East Berlin, A German punk youth in East Berlin, Armed guards watch over a public soccer event to make sure the hooligans in the crowd do not get out of hand. Harald Hauswald.
Nothing new about being told off, as even liberal Berlin, to which I recently moved, is full of baffling rules. For the Germans, this is as normal as a trip to the supermarket. As in Scandinavia, saunas are revered here for their relaxing effects, circulatory benefits and power to make you sweat a pint in 10 minutes. They are also mixed-sex, and no bathing suits are allowed. A nude mixed sauna is a shocking proposition to an Anglo-American like me. It is also an intriguing one. The pictures online showed a smart, spa-like space of minimalist wood, turquoise tiles and people in luxuriant robes. I assumed this would be a soft introduction to bare-cheeked baking. I had expected at least the people in reception to be wearing clothes. Instead, standing at the desk is a woman wrapped only in a small white towel.