The History of the INF
(numbers 59 and 60 in the previous articles you will find the events from 1951 to 1956)
These simple and synthetic notes on the path of growth of the INF FNI help you to understand what has been done each year since 1951 to create the world organization of naturism. While reading these events you will discover what has been the enthusiasm and strength that has unleashed the naturist idea.
Naturism was born in Italy in 1964 .A group of friends started the UNI union, while on vacation in Corsica Villata. The families were:Operti, Monge, Piodi and, Scalamandr Ghirardelli was traveling the coast of Istria in 1965 and got inspired. He then founded the Association Italian NaturistANITA. Shortly after, the LIBURNIA, the ANB and the ETRURIA followed. The seed sprouted (see History of Naturism In Italyby Daniele Agnoli). But in the 50’s many italians were already attending the Ile du Levant and Istria. We owe the great pleasure of living the naturist life to them.
- INF-FNI world congresses took place in:
1958, in Park Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, Grande-Bretagne
1960 in Solbakken Kysing, Danmark
The 12 pages counting newspaper of the INF, called “INFORMAZIONE”, was published in three languages, since January 1957. It was responsible for publishing the secretariat in Vienna.Thea Naemann wrote the German version, Genevieve Laverdure the French one and Ronal Cooper the English version.
“INFORMAZIONE” was the forerunner of the INF/FNI BULLETIN, which was caracteristic for its black and white cover photographs of international events.
One of the photographers was Gerhard Riebicke, who died on the 7th of February. His photographs were published in many newspapers. Riebicke’s photographs were not only taken within the grounds of naturists, but also on outside edges of the Havel in Berlin, on the beach and wherever it was possible.
His departure caused a deep mourning, but it was a moment that brought a lot of interest for the naturist movement. And so Naturism had become.
The 6th World Congress took place in Great Britain in Woburn Abbey Bedfordshire 25-31 agosto1958. The castle of the Dukes of Bedford is located 55 miles from London.
XIII The Duke of Bedford had made the park available for the event. The report by Erik Holm says that it rained for the entireperiod of congress and that the meetings were held in a tent, while everybody was fully dressed, instaed of being naked, as was the custom.
The delegates had arrived from Britain. France, the Netherlands,Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland,Austria, Australia, New Zealand and
the United States The INF in that time had 11 members in class A, 8 members in class B and 21 corresponding members.
6,300 INF cards were issued. The main focus of the meeting was the issue of Naturism in the United States. The American delegate Alois Knaap informd everybody of the great succes of naturism in America, but that it was up against a very strong opposition. After fighting a battle for over 20 years, they were able to publish naturism magazines with unretouched photographs.
During a trial before the Supreme Court of the United Stated=s, the judge was in favour of the naturists, who now were allowed to publish their journals with unretouched photographs17 naturist magazines were submitted to the court, that, after thorough examination, were diclared to be not offencive..
In 1958 there were more than a 100 naturists lands in the United States.At the time of the election, a commission of the Press was unanimously re-elected.To which, among others, belonged Erhard Wächtler / DFK and Albert Lecocq / FFN. There was also a Comission of Culture created, , whose members were Erik Holm, Gilbert Sarrou and also Rudolf BEISSBARTH. During the final resolutions an appeal was made to Congress that goverments of many countries with beaches to the sea, would allow the creation of naturist beaches.
During the period of August 17 to 31 Congress for International Youth took place in a Nudist Camp. It was organized by Jack Gray / Angleterre and Karlwilli Damm / RFA. The large contigent of German Youth present at this INF World Congress was overwhelming. British naturists decided to promote activities for young people in their country.Shortly after, in September 1958, Jack Gray published a proclamation to the young people of all groups to apply for a membership to
a group of youth naturista.
the proclaims made by Jack Grax in September 1958 to promote young peoplwere a succes in Britain. On the 8th of February there was already an association of Naturist English Youth created, under the name “The Sunlander’s”.
Naturists winter sports were very popular in the 50’s. So they were organized by "Sonnensport Salzburg-Freunde" (friends of the sun Salzbourg) on the 7th Field Cross, from the 28th of Febrary till the 21st of March.
The FNI organized an International Ski Field to "Brünnerhütte" 2043 m dedicated especially to beginners and skiers with average experience.
Even in the valley "Gauertal Tschaguns" in Vorarlberg in Autria, naturists families got the oppurtunity for a naturistic holliday in a chalet at 1300m, in an area where snow was garanteed.
The 7th World Congress took place in Solbakken, Denmark from they 23th of July till the 27th of July.
Present were the following countries and organizations states:
- Austria: Ludwig Okasek, Int Gemeinschaft - Franz Vanecek, Schutzverband FKK
- Australia:Gastone Larri , Woodlands
- Belgium: Joseph Collard, Nature et Sport
- Denmark: Arne Bloch, Solsport Unionen
- German : Erhard Wächtler, DFK
- France: Albert Lecocq, FFN
- Britain: Arthur Hodgson, BSBA
- Netherlands: Ise Dissen, NNF-FNL
- Sweden: Hen Högvall,SNF
- Switzerland: Edi Fankhauser, ONS - Etienne Grenier,SNF
- United States: John Bach, ASA - lsley Boone, NNC
- Norway was represented by its observer Kjell Sellin Norsk Solsport.
During the meeting the association Norsk Solsport was admitte to 'INF and from that moment Kjell Sellin became the executive officer.
In accordance with the changes of the Statute the Central Committee was composed of a President, a Secretary General and four
Vice-Presidents. All were volunteers and were elected for a period of 6 years, Every two years, two members were randomly selected to leave their post, but were able to be re-elected. The members of the Central Committee had to be originating from different
countries. Each member appointed a deputy.
The elected members of the Central Committee were: President Erik Holm, Secretary General of Switzerland. and Etienne Grenier,
Vice-Presidents: Wächtler Erhard of Germany, Albert Lecocq of France, Ise Dissen of the Netherlands ands John A. Bach of the United States.
Hanni Ricker was confirmed secretary and Lisl Ehrmann treasurer. Carl Frank official (FrankZwahlenname)of Switzerland became the new
secretary. The minutes of the meeting report that he received a monthly salary of 500 Swiss francs for his work.
On November 23th 1960 the "NATURIST FEDERATION ABROAD" (INF / FNI) was recorded in the register of associations in Copenhagen,Denmark at number 2359.