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Poles and Germans in nude bathing war

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Poles and Germans in nude bathing war
Photo: DPA
12:06 CEST+02:00
Nude bathers carrying on the proud East German tradition of “free body culture” (FKK) are clashing with their more modest Polish neighbours in the Baltic Sea resort of Usedom, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

For the past 50 years, vacationers and residents on either side of the German-Polish border between Ahlbeck and Swinemünde co-existed peacefully, the paper said – that is, until December 2007, when the fence separating them came down in accordance with the Schengen agreement. Now, says Bild, Germans who enjoying bathing in the nude are clashing with Polish prudes.

“It's just not normal,” politician Edward Zajac from the Polish side of the border told the paper.

And his countrywoman, Anja, 28, agreed.

“It's shocking,” she said. “We would never bathe naked. We're Catholic.”

But it's not just the Poles who are upset. Germans who grew up with a tradition of nude bathing at the seaside also feel they're being stripped of their dignity.

“You feel like a monkey in a zoo,” Ines Müller, 46, told the paper. “The Poles come over here with binoculars, stare and tell us off.”

A solution has been proposed in the form of bilingual signs clearly dividing the beach into nudist and textile-wearing zones, but there's no telling if this will restore harmony among beach-goers along this stretch of the Baltic coast.

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