Berlin will Allow Women to go Topless in Swimming Pools

After a decision by the city authorities, women will soon be allowed to swim without the top of a swimsuit in Berlin's public pools, the BBC reported.

The ruling came after a woman who was kicked out of an outdoor pool for not wearing a swimsuit took legal action.

A second woman reported being told to cover up while at an indoor pool in December.

Authorities agreed the two were victims of discrimination and said all visitors to Berlin's pools are now allowed to go topless.

The decision will be welcomed by defenders of Freikörperkultur - the culture of the free body.

Foreign visitors to Germany are often surprised - and sometimes downright embarrassed - by the sight of naked Germans frolicking in lakes, snoring in parks or sweating in saunas, writes the BBC.

But this is a country that considers public nudity in some settings appropriate and healthy.

The question of whether and to what extent this is permissible in municipal swimming pools torments a number of local authorities.

Last summer, Göttingen in Lower Saxony and Siegen in North Rhine-Westphalia allowed women to swim topless.

Berlin's pool operator, Berliner Bäderbetriebe (BBB), has not actually changed its rules requiring swimwear to cover the genitals.

The BBB simply clarifies that this applies to any visitor, regardless of gender.

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