It’s tempting to snark that, had those temperature-controlled Nazis been victorious, the monokini fad would never have, as it were, taken off. Au contraire!
Rudi Gernreich, the (cough) Austrian-born clothing designer who created the topless swimsuit in 1963, likes to say that, as a teenager, “he had fled the country with his family to escape Hitler, who had banned nudity.”
You see, “many Austrians … were big proponents of exercising and frolicking in the buff,” and Gernreich “regarded any action against bearing [sic] it all as fascist and oppressive.”
Uh huh. Those of you who aren’t already smirking knowingly should check out a 2011 Der Spiegel exposé called “Naked Nazis.”
Thing is, the 1936 edition of Hans Surén’s Humans and Sun—“a collection of nude photographs that includes lyrical praise of the male member, instructions for yoga-like exercises and even naked skiing”—was one of the Third Reich’s best sellers.