Hans Suren

Published December 2, 2011 by Tony

Mensch und Sonne

The German thinker Christian Adam examined the books sold during the Third Reich Nazi period and an interesting result came out.
In fact, besides the classic books of that period, such as “Mein Kampf”, the National Socialist book written by Hitler’s, or other novels, in 1924 also became a bestseller “Mensch und Sonne” (The man and the sun) by Hans Suren, one of the pioneers of naturism, which sold more than 80 000 copies.
This is a collection of pictures of naked or half-naked people with instructions how to practice nudism and recreational activities and outdoor gym.
Unexplainable and unexpected event if we consider the strong censure of that period, even if the nudity already was in fashion from the ’30s. Probably, the need to have healthy and perfect bodies to enhance the Aryan race, a Hitler wish, or a way for communicating  the “racial health”, let this book to be around exceptionally, at least in Germany.  The same happened, slyly,  towards such a “sexual freedom” carried out privately.  In fact, after the Second World War, both racism and morality brought the book to be censored.
Suren was appointed as “special commissioner for physical education” during the 1936 Olympics in Germany, but in 1942  then arrested and expelled because it was told he had masturbated in public.
In his work he celebrates the body and masculine attributes such as “God’s creation, wonder of wonders.” The manual also satisfy the voyeuristic desires of readers and brought out prudish and voluptuous atmosphere even if not accepted by the Third Reich, while only in 1942 nude bathing and spa was allowed in secluded places. On the other hand, the search for the perfect body was a topic covered by other artists at that time, as Leni Riefenstahl who in her films celebrate the Nazis deal beauty  and for this she was a Hitler’s favorite filmmaker. Note,  at that time the depiction of naked men wasn’t a hymn to homosexuality, at least officially, since it was strongly persecuted.






Photos have been taken from different sources.

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