With Richard Ungewitter (1868–1958), the relation between nudity and culture assumed an intensely reactionary expression. Ungewitter, one of the foremost spokesmen for Nacktkultur before the war, promoted communal nudity as a powerful sign of racial purity in such books as Nacktheit und Moral (1906) and Nacktheit und Kultur (1907). He saw Nacktkultur as preparation for and an extension of married life, for healthy marriage was the key to preserving racial purity. No other promoter of nudism made such an explicit and narrow connection between Nacktkultur and marriage. Of all the theorists of nudity, Ungewitter disclosed the deepest (actually fanatical) commitment to spartan, military ideals. After the war, when it seemed to him that Germany had sunk into an abysmal state of degradation, he argued that the "pure," naked body must signify an "armored spirit" in a nation deprived of military power. Though like Surén he regarded nudity as a natural condition, he was quite unique in believing that nudity could not achieve complete significance until it became a compulsory element in daily life, a duty integrated into a specifically German lifestyle that also included a vegetarian diet and communal ethic. In 1919 he edited a monumental anthology, Der Zusammenbruch: Deutschlands Wiedergeburt durch Blut und Eisen , in which he incorporated compulsory nudity into a gigantic, Nibelung-scale plan for renewing German cultural, political, and economic power.
Nudity was for Ungewitter the projection of human identity uncontaminated by capitalism and socialism, the two forces most responsible for the corruption of Aryan racial beauty. Recovery of this beauty, he argued, was a much more strenuous matter than people such as Surén or Koch would have us believe, for one must pursue nudity daily, year-round, doing nude exercises at six or so in the morning, at noon, in the late afternoon, and just before bed. The communal environment in which Aryan nudity operated was as insulated from the rest of society as a military camp. It was obvious that for Ungewitter, resident in Stuttgart, Nacktkultur could not remain confined within a club or association—it must become an
Another, perhaps even more interesting American book on German nudism was Jan Gay's On Going Naked (1932), which touchingly described a libidinous young woman's journey from a suffocatingly repressive Midwestern milieu to the ecstatic freedom of outdoor German nudism. Gay collaborated on the film This Nude World (1932). By contrast, a grotesquely misnamed pamphlet, Facts about Nudism , by Hugh Morris, published in the mid-1930s, hysterically warned Americans that Naziism was synonymous with homosexuality, vegetarianism, and nudism.
expression of a complete, purified community, as he explained at length in Nacktheit und Aufstieg (1920). Nevertheless, Ungewitter aligned his views with those defining the strange cult surrounding the Viennese journal Die Ostara , whose membership excluded all but blond males of "Aryanaristocratic" beauty. Ostara Nacktkultur strove to embody a "blond, heroic manliness," an ideal physicality manifesting a superior synthesis of science, art, and Christianity and free of all "feminine" decadence, which, for Ungewitter, was synonymous with racial impurity. Nudity within this cult was not only a paramilitary activity but a cosmic political adventure involving commitment to an elaborate, fantastically reactionary program for reforming the whole of European society around an archetypal, premodern image of male identity. Ungewitter displayed a much deeper concern than Surén with the inclusion of (Aryan) women in Nacktkultur , prescribing in great detail nude activities to prepare them for the heroic role that awaited them on the journey to utopia; but that role always remained limited, by nature, to the "world of feeling and beauty," which had no connection with the "morbid" and "degenerate" proposals of feminism (Zusammenbruch , 293).