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‘I took a deep breath’: An American’s first dip into German nudity (via

For one American journalist, swimming in a Berlin lake proved to be the (at times comic) moment of liberation she had hoped for.

Last month, on a listless Sunday in Berlin when it was too hot to do anything else, I made like the locals and took the S-Bahn to a lake on the city’s southwest edge.

On the train I did a bit of research on Strandbad Wannsee, the beach I was heading to. Berlin’s tourism site touted that about ten percent of the beach is “FKK zone.”.

Having only been in Germany for two weeks, I didn’t know what FKK meant. It sounded like a militia, but given the context, it probably wasn’t. Perhaps it meant family-friendly?

Not exactly. As a quick turn on Google revealed to me, FKK is shorthand for Freikörperkultur, or “free body culture” — nudism. Well! I’d heard about Germans’ fondness for nudity, especially at its lakes, and particularly in the East. I knew immediately I was going to try it.

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