I was living in Berlin in 1975. More precisely, in West Berlin. It was encircled by the infamous Berlin Wall. This was not torn down until 1989 at the unification of East and West Germany. Here are some notes from that, then walled, City.

Berlin is a city of parks and of architecture. A major area of green is the Grünewald. Inside this immense park there are lakes and stretches of lake front beach. Some beach area is set aside especially for people who want to sunbathe or swim completely nude (nackt). A posted sign announces this with the word Nacktbadestelle, nude bathing place.  A public nude beach in the middle of the City. The people of Berlin are very civilized.

The area is about 30 meters on a side sloping gently down to the north where it dips into the water. The beach is artificially but artfully graded with sand so it is much like being at a seaside beach but at a lakeside instead.

This Nacktbadestelle is not on a main thoroughfare in the Grünewald. But it is not a cul de sac, either. Rather it lies astride a well used foot-path through the park. Perfectly conventional people and groups of youngsters walking through the park come unexpectedly upon these naked people. Anywhere from twenty to over several hundred of them. Sunning themselves in all positions from flat prone horizontal through bent, raised, lowered, crooked, curled, sitting and finally straight erect vertical.  My young lady friend, Elfi, and I were among them.

There isn’t a great deal of movement but there is the buzz of life and communication among these sub-species of Homo sapiens taking the sun nude like some group of sea lions in their communal habitat.

Parading through these sun bathing nudists are an entirely foreign species. These are clothed, often fully so, with shirts, trousers and shoes. Shoes are not something the nude sun bathers wear.

Sometimes groups of three to ten swarthy young men, tittering among themselves, roamed among the bathers, not infrequently, drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages. These clothed and shoed explorers were usually darker skinned with darker hair and eyes than the bathers, the sunshine worship of the latter notwithstanding. Guest workers. From other cultures and other countries. From Turkey. From Portugal. They walked among the bathers as if they were in a safari style zoo where you wander among the animals and gaze at them in their own natural habitat. They came there to be amused by the spectacle; the spectacle of people wandering around openly in the nude.

We devoted nudists had a special affection for these onlookers. They provided such an amusing spectacle for us to watch. In order to see the show they, themselves, had mounted the stage and produced a show of their own for our amusement.