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Germany's passion for clotheslessness finds its origins in late-19th-century health drives when stripping off was seen as part of a route to fitness and sunbathing a possible cure for TB and rheumatism. In 1920, while the rest of Europe was still getting feverish over the sight an exposed ankle, Germany established its first nude beach on the island of Sylt. Barely a decade later, the Berlin School of Nudism, founded to encourage mixed sex open-air exercises, hosted the first international nudity congress. Today, there are about 600,000 Germans registered in more than 300 private nudist/FKK clubs and a further 14 affiliated clubs in Austria.
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