In Germany, the term FKK-Bewegung*) describes the summing up of all the naturist theories and practices, that found their most distinctive manifestations in the wave of naturist clubs, especially in Germany in the 20th century.
Often, the swiss natural medic Arnold Rikli (1823-1906), the founder of the "Atmospheric cure, where baths in light and in air play a key role, is declared as the beginning of the naturist movement. Rikli was a follower of the so-called Lebensreform [en: reform of life] and influenced, amongst others, the painter and social reformer Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach (1851-1913), who founded a land commune in Vienna according to the principles of Rikli.
It was also documented, that the young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) pursued nude swimming with some friends.
As a even former follower of the culture of nude living, James Burnett, Lord Monboddo (1714-1779), is quoted as a Scottish jurist and linguist who praised and practiced nude bathing as a reawakening of ancient Greek nude culture. It found literary mention in Georg Christoph Lichtenberg's (1742-1799) book "Das Luftbad" [en: "Bath in air"].
Nevertheless, the change from the 19th to the 20th century is considered the beginning of the naturist movement. In 1891, Heinrich Pudor published several writings on the reform of life, in 1892 his book "Nackende Menschen, Jauchzen der Zukunft"" [en: "Nude people, cheer of future"], the first important German-language work on naturism. The first naturist association was founded in Essen, Germany, in 1898. In 1906, Richard Ungewitter, with his book "Nackt" [en: "Nude"], presented the first comprehensive foundation of naturism, which can be regarded as a starting point for the broad impact, of what was initially called Nacktkultur [en: culture of nudity]. Even later, the German term Frei-Körper-Kultur (FKK) won recognition.
*) German: "Frei-Körper-Kultur", abbrev.: "FKK" [en: English naturist movement]