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Popularisierung und Etablierung der Freikörperkultur in der Schweiz (1900–1930)

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Rindlisbacher Stefan,
Project Die Lebensreformbewegung in der Schweiz im 20. Jahrhundert
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte
Page(s) 393 - 414
Title of proceedings Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte


This article examines the popularization of concepts and practices of naturism (Freikörperkultur) in Switzerland. In the second half of the 19th century the Swiss naturopath Arnold Rikli began to treat his patients with light-and-air baths. Around the turn of the century, German naturists combined nude bathing with educational, cultural and social reforms. As a part of the German life-reform movement, the pioneers of «Freikörperkultur» tried to establish a «natural lifestyle» in a time of technological change. At the beginning of the 20th century the light-and-air bath spread to healing sanatoriums such as «Monte Verità» in Ascona, using natural remedies, and to public open-air baths in urban centres. But it was in the 1920s only that the educational reformer Werner Zimmermann began to popularize «Freikörperkultur» as part of his programme for life-reform in Switzerland. This article focuses on the development of «Freikörperkultur» from the first reference in Zimmermann’s main work «Lichtwärts» (1922) to the founding of the «Schweizerischer Lichtbund» in 1927.