Speaking from personal experience, I can categorically state that the the implementation of the law is merely a personal opinion. The informal rule seems to be something along the lines of:

  • it's ok to take your clothes off, and the more public the better!
and
  • when you are naked, we won't know what to do so, we're probably going to run around like headless chickens!

You might reasonably wonder why I would come to these apparently extraordinary conclusions, and although the listing above might give you some clues, I'll attempt to explain this as best I can. Essentially the justice (ha ha ha) system (ha ha ha) doesn't have any idea what to do with nudity. If you are found walking naked in one district the police will simply say they are not interested, (because they have better things to do), in another district you might recieve a minor fine, similar to a speeding ticket, and in another you get a huge fine trying desperately to discourage you from exercising your rights as a citizen, all for the identical circumstances. You might think that the circumstances would dictate, or at least influence, the response, but this is not the case at all. You might believe that the more people who see you naked, for instance, the more women and children for instance, the more seriously anti-social your behaviour would be judged. In fact, it appears to be the case that the larger the number of people you meet while you are naked, the smaller your transgression of society's out-dated mores is likely to be judged. Which is quite an amazing conclusion, when you take the trouble to think about it.

Allow me to demonstrate with some actual examples, as follows:

Naked in the Forest (null komma nix - no charge)

Richard was called by telephone at home to come in to the station and talk to the local police, about whether it was indeed he who had met the friendly horse-riding lady along the forest trail in the Bavarian district of Ebersberg, while he was out hiking naked one day. They discussed locations, timing and content, and indeed it proved to be him - "Fine!", they said, "that's all. We just want to know who's doing what in our patch - have a nice day!". He asked them to clarify exactly what the situation was in relation to naked hiking, and they replied: "So long as there is no report of untoward behaviour, we're not interested whether you or anyone else wants to go for a naked hike through the forest, but we are required to look into every report which we recieve." Now that's the kind of response a naked hiker can appreciate.

Naked in the Forest (35 Euros)

Other times, people are not so fortunate, and in the end it all seems to come down to personal opinion - on another occassion, Richard was met by two women while he was naked, walking along a forest trail south and east of Erding, (yet another Bavarian district not more than a couple of miles distant to the above case). The pair exchanged a short pleasant conversation regarding how pleasant the weather was, and whether he was cold or not. This wasn't the end of the matter though, because once they had returned home they promptly reported the encounter to the police, who subsequently visited his house in a marked car, and quite soundly upset his wife by their stern, if polite, presence. The end result of this encounter was a whopping great thirty five (35) Euro fine. Clearly here, the seriousness of the event is regarded as almost laughable, but it seems as though the authorities just had to issue some sort of fine, even when it was hardly worth the paperwork, or waste of police time, involved.

Naked in the Forest (500!!! Euros -> NOTHING - Zero Euros - null comma nix!)

Richard, who has never yet walked naked through the centre of a modern city shopping precinct, went for a pleasant stroll in Altoetting, East of Munich. While walking through Alzgernerforst, having met two women, one woman on horseback who was very friendly, and one woman who was neither on horseback or friendly, was next waylaid by an unmarked police dog-handler van before having his identity papers inspected, and his photograph taken, via the occupants of two (!) further marked police cars who had raked the forest in pursuit, (that's three [3] cars and five [5] German Police officers and one grumpy and very sharp looking police dog), not a pleasant experience I can tell you. Richard recieved a fine of five hundred (500) Euros for this single and first occurence of being called an alleged public nuisance. This judgement from the local Ordnungsamt, (Civil Penalties Office), was fought and on appeal the fine was reduced to four hundred (400) Euros, bearing in mind the additional cost of the lawyer's defense being more than the original fine. At the time of writing a further appeal to a higher court, (Oberbayerischerlandesgericht or somesuch twaddle), is still pending 18 months later.

There's an interesting postscript to this (18 months later). Once the good people of the Oberbayerischerlandesgericht, (or whatever), rejected the original judgement, as being of (get this) "dubious merit", it was sent back to Altoeting to be re-judged. Many months passed, as is usual in legal affairs, and finally, the Altoetting court having presumably been incapable of producing a better or more convincing argument for it's upper and superior court to recognise, allowed the case to lapse into a default decision to my benefit. Consequently, not only does the original fine get entirely dismissed, but the state now also have to pay me back the many, (and I mean many), hundreds of Euros which I have paid in legal fees too. This just goes to show that sitting doggedly by your beliefs can pay off in the end, and it's possible for a lone man to face the powers of the law in deepest Catholic Bavaria and effectively win!

So the wife pays the speeding fines without complaining, but naturally heavily criticises the husband who gets called to account on a trumped up charge of being a "public nuisance" by being "naked in a public space" (large empty forest). The whole thing is a massive waste of time, money and energy, in the end, as the police got it wrong, the administrative fines department got it wrong, and the judge got it wrong too. All this legal hassle (time wasting), expense (to be paid back to me) and marital headache (to be born as best as possible), and tax payers (our) money of course, for nothing. Why get so upset about someone being naked in the first place?

Back to our theme...

Naked in the City (100 Euros)

Ralf made the headlines by walking down the High Street in the middle of the city of Heidelberg, Germany, naked. The main thoroughfare was appropriaely busy for a saturday and he had hundreds of happy shoppers passing him by, quite naturally a mix of old and young, male and female. He also walked in and out of several shops, chatting to the staff and customers alike, buying some bread and so on, with no problems whatsoever. It took just one person, of all those hundreds, to call the police to take him to task. The end result was a one hundred (100) Euro fine.

Naked in the City (35 Euros)

Here's another case of a man naked at a fountain in the centre of Dresden. He is fined
35 Euros for the privilege of running around naked and shouting loudly at the same time. Summary In none of the cases on this page, were there any suggestion from the public of any anti-social, agressive or sexual, behaviour whatsoever - so what can explain the different responses from the authorities. Is it simply a personal preference? I mean if the policeman, or the person in the council department responsible for these decisions, or the judge on the day, are feeling particularly puritanical, perhaps they had a weak coffee for breakfast, or they haven't had their daily beating yet, or given one, or they're not getting enough sex, then you're stuffed. On the other hand, if they are folk who mind their own business, enjoy living in a peaceful world, like to lead a quiet life and are pleased when other people do the same, you are just as likely to be greeted with a smile and wished a pleasant day. Think about that for a moment, at the end of the day: the implementation of the law is only a personal opinion.

I trust this page gives you some idea of why I think the (so-called) justice system has it's head stuck firmly up it's arse!