BERLIN (Web Desk) – A German nudist club is up in arms after being ordered to cover up in preparation for the arrival of a new refugee shelter bordering a lake where they have been swimming naked for many decades.
Accommodation to house 112 asylum seekers is being built on the opposite shore of the lake, where notices have been sent with rules written in German, Albanian, Arabic and Farsi (Persian).
Rule number nine specifies that “usage of the pool is only permitted for people wearing swimwear”.
The ban is an affront to the club’s 400 members and followers of Germany’s Freikörperkultur (free body culture) or FKK movement, which embraces sport, naturism and communal living. The club members say they have been swimming naked at a secluded campsite north of Dresden since the last century but have now been told to wear bathing suits.
Petra Hoffmann, the treasurer, told the local media that naturists had used the site since 1905 and would not be stopping. “We refuse to display these rules,” she said. “On our site we decide what goes.”
The club was officially founded in 1910 when land was leased by the club for people to bathe nude or partially clothed, before it expanded in the 20’s with larger grounds, shelters and sports facilities.
The German Swimming Society said the row was the result of a mix-up where the local council sent out a standard set of rules intended for public swimming pools, the Telegraph reported.
Meanwhile, Meissen Council is continuing its plans for the refugee shelter, saying it is needed to house those arriving in the county.
Officials said a privacy screen may be constructed to shield the lake from view and that new arrivals would be taught about FKK culture, Junge Freiheit reported.
Germany welcomed more than a million refugees and asylum seekers last year and continues to be one of the top destinations for those continuing to arrive in Europe. But as attitudes have hardened against refugees following the Cologne New Year’s Eve attacks and other reported assaults, support has risen for populist parties and far-right groups.
Reports of sexual harassment and attacks by asylum seekers at swimming pools have generated controversy across Europe, sparking a ban on male migrants at one pool in Germany and “vigilante” patrols in Sweden.
Police statistics in Germany showed that sex offences made up a tiny proportion of crimes committed by refugees and migrants in the country, who are mostly involved in transport and documents-related crimes.