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The German Camping Club (1953)

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The campground in Lindau was created in the middle of last year. At this time it is the pride of German camping fans. Until September, they were counting an average “occupancy” of one thousand people a day. The city of Munich is hoping to equal the Lindau site in comfort with the campground on the Isar, which is scheduled to open at Pentecost. Ninety thousand marks have been budgeted for it. A commission has scouted the terrain on Lake Constance. A buffet, a milk bar, the most modern sanitary facilities, showers, gas stoves for cooking are, alongside campground security, the least that Munich wants to offer, as well. On the Baltic Sea you can find campgrounds with rental tents. And there are lots of other things going on within the German camping movement. Sporting goods stores are exhibiting entire camping sets on ruined plots in the big cities. A wandering preacher of the camping movement is criss-crossing town and country, and wherever he shows his film about a summer with car and tent, he has a full house. Many communities are already publishing their own tent brochures. A thick guide “Munich-Naples” lists the nicest campgrounds located along the way. In short: in Germany, too, we are at a turning point to a new era of tourism, which has long since begun in other countries.

German industry has clearly recognized the goal. For the next years it expects an impetuous uptrend, which will raise the German camping movement to at least the level of other European countries. In addition to old firms, who with a good dose of idealism did pioneering work in this area for decades and in the early days often had to endure ridicule, new ones are stepping onto the stage. The result will be tougher competition. The sight of one of the large international campgrounds shows the novice that a new consumer need is emerging here. Tents of every description and color, sometimes in adventurous combinations, shape the picture of a peaceful army camp of the twentieth century. The spectrum ranges from the tiniest one-man tent to the three-wing tent for families of six, including a car garage, battery-driven refrigerator and multi-burner propane gas stove, from the simple Zeltbahn tent to the pyramid and trapezoid-shaped tent, all the way to the Laplander cottage and the Indian wigwam.

[ . . . ]

Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 1,1953; reprinted in Christoph Kleßmann and Georg Wagner, eds., Das gespaltene Land. Leben in Deutschland 1945-1990. Texte und Dokumente zur Sozialgeschichte [The Divided Land. Life in Germany 19945-1990. Texts and Documents on Social History]. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1993, pp. 335-36.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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