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"Vigor and Beauty": Monthly Magazine of the Society for Physical Culture (1906)

The improvement of everyday life was a matter of great concern in Wilhelmine society. Nudism and physical fitness found support in associations and clubs like the Society for Physical Culture. Many of these organizations were national in scope, thereby linking German citizens across regional divisions. While not overtly political, these organizations could mobilize their members for specific causes.

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What We Want!

We are witnessing the physical decline of a large portion of our population and we want to counteract this tendency as far as possible.

We consider gymnastic exercises in the nude to be the most effective means for strengthening the skin, nerves, and muscles.

Through the purposeful development of all available capacities we strive towards a balanced physical vigor and beauty of form.

We struggle against all the deficiencies of our very one-sided culture and elevate physical culture to the status of one of the most authentic demands of individual and communal life.

We work towards educating everyone about the most important questions concerning physical existence and well being and we support all healthy reforms of physical culture.

Within the context of our progressive culture, we call for a “culture of mankind,” which does not generate intellectual and technical advances at the expense of our physical development, but rather allows us, together with these advances, to attain an ever higher level of personal development.

The publisher and editors of "Vigor and Beauty"

Source: “Kraft und Schönheit”: Monatsschrift des Vereins für Körperkultur [“Vigor and Beauty”: Monthly Magazine of the Society for Physical Culture], no. 7, vol. 6 (1906).

Reprinted in Diethart Kerbs and Jürgen Reulecke, eds. Handbuch der deutschen Reformbewegung 1880-1933 [Handbook of the German Reform Movement, 1880-1933]. Wuppertal, 1998, p. 104.

Translation: Richard Pettit

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