Badefreuden (LFS 06056 1)

Revision as of 16:55, 22 March 2021 by Marie Falga (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)



Family pictures of swimming, sailing and other water activities.


Half shot: Bathers on a lake shore, in the background a large jetty with boathouse. / Bathers swimming with a dog. / The bathers splash around; a woman tries a handstand; Dog floats in the picture. / Half shot: Three women and a man in a small sailboat; the man picks up a rope. / Half-close: Man with glasses on the jetty holds the boat and goes laughing on board. / Totale: See by motorboat, the sailboat can still be seen in the foreground. / Halftotal: People on the boat: young woman dressing up her bath costume. / Totale: Looking into the sky on a small propeller machine. / Halftotal: Women are playing table tennis. In the background you can see a kiosk. / Half-close: Table tennis player, a man stands by the side and watches. / Half-close: two women at the pool edge of a pool when creaming.


Reference / film number :  LFS 06056 1
Date :  Between 1927 and 1930
Coloration :  Black and white
Sound :  Mute
Running time :  00:05:04
Reel format :  35 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  Body and Health, Sport, Swimming, Environment, Outdoor activities
Archive :  Haus des Dokumentarfilms

Context and analysis

The private films were shot by the Freiburg dentist Erwin Martin (1901-1960). They were created between 1927 and 1930. The first sequences show three friendly couples. They are shown bathing and sailing. The friends look relaxed and happy and they seem not affected by economic crisis. As a family of dentists, they belonged to the upper bourgeoisie, who could afford both the expensive film hobby and an ample leisure time pleasure. The other sequences show the women and men playing table tennis. If you look closely, you'll notice a Nivea billboard in the background. Based on the poster, the date of origin of the recordings can be defined more precisely, because the poster was published in 1930. The Nivea family is growing and the product range has been greatly expanded and products have become a worldwide bestseller. Not least thanks to the innovative advertising, the by e. g. Elly Heuss-Knapp, the wife of the later Federal President, Theodor Heuss. She recognized the positive aura of the brand colors blue and white and used them skilfully.

The friends can swim, which at the beginning of the 1920th century only three percent of the population could. But with the increase of free time new swimming pools were built. Water sports were so easily accessible to city dwellers and swimming became increasingly popular. In the 1920s, gymnastics, hiking and swimming in middle-class circles was a very popular pastime. Sport became popular and the economy flourished again. The legal introduction of the eight-hour day in 1918 also offered workers more free time. Around 1900, there was a strict gender segregation in public bathing. If a swimming pool or bathing lake did not provide separate areas for men and women, there were schedules the swimmers had to follow. A few years later, married couples were allowed to take a bath together.

The following sequence shows a man on a Bodensee ferry for cars. Traveling by car or motorcycle, the most popular mode of transport in the Weimar Republic, meant independence and flexibility. In the first two years after the First World War almost only pre-war models were on the market. At the beginning of the 1920s, however, a new, high-performance automobile industry was growing in Germany. Both the stock and the range of vehicles increased steadily. Car manufacturers such as Maybach, Horch, Wanderer and Adler and later the Bayerische Motorenwerke (BMW) and Daimler-Benz met internationally recognized technical and safety standards. Her latest models were admired every year at the German Motor Show in Berlin. The new mobility made it possible to travel to the countryside or to vacation. But despite the increased production of low-cost small cars, only a few could afford this.

In the next sequences people will be filmed again while swimming and splashing. Probably lie between the recordings several years, the couples have become older and have families. The recording style has remained the same, taking bathers is shown again and again the surrounding landscape. One aspect is the swimwear. Yes, not too much skin, please! Men and women hsd to wore bathing suits. Even in the 1930s it was customary to dress chubby and covered for bathing. The bathing costumes of the ladies were still made of flannel in the mid-19th century and weighed up to five kilograms when wet. In addition, weights were sewn in so they would not swell up under water and show too much skin. Over time, materials, colors and cuts changed, but especially the bathing dresses were shorter - much to the annoyance of the moral guards. Around 1910, the ladies were already wearing tight-fitting jerseys for swimming. German moral guards ordered the so-called "Zwickelerlass" in 1932: In order to show less naked skin, swimsuits of women and men in the seam had to be complemented by an additional, wedge-shaped piece of fabric - a gusset. Men were not allowed to wear swimming trunks in public baths, but only swimsuits and the ladies' suits had to be stately closed.

In the course of industrialization and the bad living conditions that resulted, especially in the cities, many people felt the need for more air, more light, more sun. And that changed the picture of a beautiful body or a beautiful skin color. If in the past years the noble pallor was considered, the people wanted to convince now with healthy brown skin.

Jenny Oesterle

  1. This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.