Sun, sea, and naked skin. Naturism developed in the former East Germany into a real beach and bathing culture and still after the collapse of the GDR it is very popular among Baltic Sea fans.
Being naked on the beach was completely normal in East Germany. There were separate textile and naturist beaches though. But nobody felt offended if the boundaries between those beaches were smooth and if a naked person was sometimes lying among dressed sun worshipers.
Before the GDR-naturism there has been a huge quarrel between the supporters of naturism and those, who were feeling offended about it. At the beginning of the 1950s there have been massive excesses along the Baltic Sea coast. Media reported about curious strollers, who were spying the naturists beaches along their boundaries, and who have been eventually disclosed and forcefully undressed. There were reports to the Police on dissolute moral scandals supposedly taking place on the naturist beach – especially serious, because active members of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany have been allegedly involved in them. Naturism was completely banned in 1954, after an article about the naturism in East Germany in the “Spiegel” called “Cameroon at the Baltic Sea”. The beach described in the article is the naturist beach in Bansin, which exists still today and which was called Cameroon at that time.
After many protest letters from artists and writers to the GDR-government, the prohibition was repealed in 1956. Naturism grew up to a real movement. The beaches became a popular holiday destination. The first and last naturist travel guide in the GDR reported in 1982 about around 40 official naturist beaches.
Nowadays Usedom has predominantly textile-beaches. For naturism fans there are altogether ten beaches on the island though, where they can have sunbaths and sea baths with no clothes at all. In the “3 Seaside Resorts” there are two naturist beaches – one in Bansin next to the “Langer Berg” toward Ückeritz, and the other in Ahlbeck toward Świnoujście. There are signs in German, Polish and English, which indicate the beginning of each naturist beach.