Is nudism good for teenagers?
Bizarre dispute in the Uckermark : Because of nudist yoga - nude bathing forbidden in Lychen
The small town of Lychen is idyllically located on seven bodies of water in the Uckermärkische Seen nature park. People have bathed here for ages and have been naked for a hundred years. That's enough of that. The city council has passed a ban on nude bathing.
A city councilor has therefore even resigned from his offices. And the non-party mayor Karola Grundlach even received a blackmail letter with the threat of poisoning all the lakes if the ban is upheld. The mood is currently quite tense among the slightly more than three and a half thousand residents of Lychen.
"I'm definitely not a prude," says a man. "And I used to like to bathe without clothes myself. However, I didn't do yoga or play volleyball stark naked afterwards. I wouldn't expect everyone to see this, especially my grandchildren."
Another countered this: “Why are children not allowed to see naked people?” He asks. "What is this relapse into the Middle Ages?" These opinions are exemplary of the fronts in the nude bathing dispute in Lychen.
Thomas Held is a city councilor for the voter initiative “Nice here - together for Lychen” and runs the Vogelgesang guesthouse, which also offers yoga courses. "I still can't believe that they simply passed the banning of nude bathing at the city council," he says.
"The" - that is the mayoress and the members of the parliamentary group "Lychen is doing well", to which Jan Genschow belongs. “Why can't you just accept an absolutely democratic decision?” He asks. “Especially since we are only talking about the official six or seven bathing areas operated by the city, so to speak. There are a hundred others. And there you can still bathe naked. "
But only with qualifications, argues Thomas Held. “Meadows or other lying areas are very limited there. And in two districts there are only the official bathing areas. "
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Mayor Karola Grundlach points out that you can swim naked from a boat everywhere. “That is also a compromise,” she told Tagesspiegel: “I can imagine that one would also consider something else that would relax the situation.” However, the ban was ultimately issued “because there were complaints, in particular also from young parents with children ”.
Nevertheless, Thomas Held has publicly announced that he will continue to swim naked and legally challenge a possible fine. According to Lychen's new bathing regulations, nude bathing can cost up to 500 euros - it's probably only more expensive in Iran, some people in the city joke.
A city councilor resigns in protest
Helmut Bergsträßer, on the other hand, is no longer laughing. After the ban on nude bathing or the bathing ordinance, he resigned from all his honorary offices. “Out of concern for my health,” he says. "And because I have the impression that I can no longer achieve anything."
Bergsträßer headed the committee for tourism, order and the environment. “The new bathing rules should have been dealt with before they were adopted,” he says. “But that didn't happen. And there was no discussion about it either in the city council or before in the population. "
The city of Lychen - what you need to know
- Lychen is called Flößerstadt and is located in the Uckermärkische Seen nature reserve in the state of Brandenburg.
- The city is nestled between seven lakes and many forests and
is one and a half hours from Berlin.
- On the water you can explore the lake landscape with canoes and row boats as well as with the raft or the passenger ship.
- On land, the region is ideal for hikes, bike rides, draisine rides or on the mule.
- Sights are the rafting museum, St. John's Church from the 13th century, the town hall and the city wall.
- More travel tips to the Uckermark see below..
The population in Lychen is above all surprised that there is interest in the topic even in Berlin, from where many day tourists come in summer. “There have already been several TV channels here,” says one resident.
She has heard that it is primarily about two bathing spots in which the supporters of the nude culture celebrate their lifestyle: “If someone asks whether this is not possible with a little more consideration for others, they only get a cheeky answer. This can now be different with the new bathing regulations. "
"What are the old people doing there?"
A mother reports that her seven and eight year old sons asked “what the old people are doing” when they practiced their yoga exercises on the beach: - “sometimes with their legs spread out, in all possible and impossible positions”.
Another mother says that her ten-year-old daughter goes to a bath alone with friends of the same age. On the one hand the children are curious, but on the other hand they also feel overwhelmed by the naked people.
Thomas Held can find no problem in this. “Many nudists have children of their own that they bring with them,” he says. And vehemently rejects speculation that the dispute is an East-West conflict.
Are the nudists suddenly becoming prudes?
Many readers' comments under the press articles suspect that the Wessis who moved there would have something against the nudism that is widespread in the GDR, he says: “But that is not the case. Rather, the opponents of nude bathing are mainly locals. But actually opinions differ completely with both them and those who have moved there. "
Travel tips for the Uckermark
Held also finds it absolutely unacceptable that someone threatens to poison the lakes. However, the threatening letter does not have to have come from a fan of nude bathing per se. “Such a letter harms you the most,” he says.
A spokesman for the Frankfurt (Oder) police department confirmed that a stranger had threatened to dump "20 liters of diesel fuel or worse" into every Lychen bathing lake if the nude bathing ban was enforced.
The facts were reported to the police at the beginning of June, and investigations are being carried out on the grounds that the public peace is disrupted by threats of criminal offenses. So far against unknown, because you don't have a suspect yet, which surprises some Lycheners.
They are convinced that the perpetrator or perpetrators were present at the controversial residents' meeting. Because of the corona pandemic, all visitors had to sign a list back then.
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