Germans love to be naked. They also have an economy which has largely weathered the financial crisis well. In one town in Upper Lower Saxon Bavaria, Nakenstadt, both of these elements come together to provide a uniquely Teutonic way of life.
In Nakenstadt, everyone is naked all the time. It is the law. From the joggers in the local park to the belt-sanders working in the factories, there is bare flesh everywhere. Anyone found wearing clothing will be forcibly stripped. Persistent offenders are sent to special "nudist camps" where they are forced to learn the benefits of clotheslessness.
"It's a very German town," says town mayor Helmut Dangel. "Most foreigners seem a bit scared when they visit. The sight of all those hairy German bodies and swinging balls can be intimidating. But they soon calm down and join in the fun, as long as they aren't allowed to leave too soon."
The town doesn't receive many visitors from outside Germany and Austria, but it is attempting to attract more tourists from the English speaking world using witty slogans such as "Come and see naked Germans!" and "Leave your clothes behind, it's more efficient!" They offer tourists the chance to take part in traditional naked German activities, like synchronised trampolining, sauerkraut massage and nude topiary.
However, tourism is not the main industry in the town. There is a large factory which is Europe's largest manufacturer of wheel nut screws, and another that makes more petrol pump nozzle lubricant than anywhere else outside China. These sort of businesses are the cornerstone of the Germany economy.
So does nudity help them to function? Herr Dangle thinks so. "If we had to wear clothes, we would be very sad. Although we are the only town to be naked all the time, most Germany companies and towns have a nude day one day a week. Many British businessmen get a funny surprise if they make a trip here on the wrong day. But the nudity is good, it helps relax the atmosphere, especially once you add some oompah band music."
"Imagine seeing your boss naked, with all his or her hairy bits out for you to see. Now wouldn't you respect them more and want to work harder for them." It is worth noting that Angela Merkel's popularity has soared since she began doing weekly nude broadcasts to the nation.
"Also lederhosen makes me itchy."