A nude sunbather was filmed chasing after a wild boar who stole his laptop, while he was relaxing at a Berlin lake. In a video that has now gone viral, the man was seen running after the boar at the Teufelssee, a popular spot for nude sunbathing.
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Adele Landauer, a Berlin-based life coach who took the photos, shared them on her Instagram account on Friday.
“Yesterday at the lake in Berlin I saw a real hero,” she wrote. “A female wild boar with two babies came out of the forest in order to search for food … In Berlin we are free people — we love to bathe in the sun and lake like we are born.”
“Many of us were scared but the wild boars seemed to be peaceful,” she added, going on to describe the man’s ordeal when the boars “found this yellow bag and decided to take it away.”
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It’s a part of German culture, just like techno music and “Spargelzeit,” the asparagus season. Even though the practice of Freikörperkultur (FKK), which translates as “free body culture,” is dwindling among the younger generations of Germans, you’ll still find lots of FKK areas on beaches as well as nude culture enthusiasts in spas — and even parks.
By the late 19th century, many Germans believed it was healthy to strip off and bathe “textile free” at one of the country’s many lakes. At the time there was a move away from polluted industrialized cities to nature in pursuit of good health. Some people also enjoyed hiking or doing exercise in the nude. This picture dates back to 1933 and shows two women at Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria.
Increasing health through free movement in nature was an ethos featured in the 1925 film Wege zu Kraft und Schönheit (Ways to Strength and Beauty). Starring controversial German actor and filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, it was one of the country’s most popular educational films of the silent era. It contained scenes of physical exercise such as dance and bathing.
Leni Riefenstahl later became Hitler’s favorite filmmaker, and glorified the Aryan athletic physique in her two-part film Olympia, based on the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin. While the Nazis initially banned FKK, nude swimming was once again allowed in 1942, if done discreetly in remote areas. Many promoters of the FKK movement were however leftists.
While FKK in the GDR was initially promoted by avant-gardists in the 1950s, it became widespread and tolerated by the 70s. As life in the GDR was so tightly controlled in other ways, bathing nude could be seen as a rare liberty — and people made full use of it. In this picture from 1986, dozens of nudists bask in the sun at Müggelsee, a lake in the suburbs of East Berlin.
FKK was also particularly strong on Baltic Sea beaches. However, the practice didn’t spread to the Polish side of the coast. After Poland joined the EU, it became easier to walk from one country to the other’s beach, but nudism was a cause of tensions between the localities on both sides of the German-Polish border.
At this beach in Leipzig in 1980, nudists hang out together on a hot day. The FKK spirit is about celebrating the body and being free from clothes. According to FKK enthusiasts, the practice is not connected to sex; it’s about freeing yourself from social constraints. And it’s certainly one way to make sure that you don’t get any pesky tan lines from wearing a swimsuit.
While public nudity is generally forbidden in Munich, there are various specific areas where FKK is allowed, for example in the English Garden and along the Isar River, including the Flaucher beach area, a popular destination for nudists, as this picture on a hot day from 2002 shows. FKK areas usually have a clear sign, and people chilling there do not want to be seen as a tourist attraction.
The practice is not as strong as it used to be, but some parks still have a certain FKK tradition — so you might come across more flesh than you were expecting on an afternoon walk. While public nudity is illegal, sunbathing naked is tolerated in different Berlin parks, such as the Mauerpark, Volkspark Friedrichshain (picture, from 1999) and Tiergarten — as long as it’s not disturbing anyone.
Angela Merkel was famously taking a sauna the night the Berlin Wall came down; it was her Thursday ritual. Figures show that around 30 million people in Germany visit the country’s 2,300 saunas regularly. The majority of spas are open to both genders and require users to be textile-free. Remember: these public saunas are different to so-called FKK saunas or clubs, which are used as brothels.
It may not be for everyone, but if you really want to get in touch with nature you could try going for a hike — au naturel. Deep in Germany’s Harz mountain region is where you’ll find an 18 kilometer naked hiking route. Stretching from the town of Dankerode to the Wippertal reservoir and back, the route welcomes FKK aficionados. Just watch out for nettles!
The owner of the bag immediately jumped up to chase the boars, as his laptop was inside. “Every one of us adored him, how focused he stayed, and when he came back with his yellow bag in hand we all clapped and congratulated him for his success,” Landauer wrote. “This happens when you’re focused on your goals.”
“This must be the best thing on the internet today,” one Twitter user wrote.
“I was just sent the most joyful picture of all time,” another user tweeted.
Meanwhile, Landauer also uploaded the photos on her Facebook page in a post which was shared over 13,000 times by Friday afternoon. Landauer said that she had obtained permission from the man to post the photos, and that he laughed out loud when she showed them to him.
“If people bring food to the lake, the animals can smell it from as far as 1,000 meters away,” said Derk Ehlert of the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment. The wild boars are probably used to eating food in plastic bags, said Ehlert.
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Because many people leave their leftovers behind, boars, along with foxes, raccoons and badgers often come to forage in the evenings. In summer, he added, such encounters with animals before nightfall are not unlikely, as more people frequent the lakes during periods of warmer weather.
The Berlin official added just one request to dwellers of the German capital: “Please don’t leave your garbage or food by the water or forest.”
lc/dr (dpa, AFP)