Mensch und Sonne. Arisch-olymischer Geist
Berlin: Verlag Scherl. 1936.

206 bis 235 Tausend. Revised 1936 edition. 8vo. 205x135mm. pp. 264. Text in German, illustrated throughout with black and white photographs of naked men, women and children engaged in athletic pursuits. Original cream cloth lettered to upper cover and spine in dark brown. Some soiling on the boards and some tears to the cloth on the spine at the joints. Internally very good. First published in 1924, Mensch und Sonne was a general work on sport and nudity in which Suren wrote of the health benefits of exercising while naked. He practiced what he preached, once undertaking a long run at night without clothes. This 1936 edition is altogether more controversial. It was heavily revised to incorporate the racial theories and politics of the Third Reich and was given the subtitle Aryan-Olympic Spirit. Coinciding with the 1936 Berlin Olympics, this edition quotes from Mein Kampf and from works by Goebbels and Rosenberg. Although there is nothing funny about all this, it is hard to resist the view, common at the time, that one of the reasons why Fascism never took hold in Britain was the tendency of the British to laugh at the ludicrous posing that it seemed to involve. And, indeed, can we suppress a little giggle when faced with a photograph of a naked man on skis with snowy mountains towering behind him? Or is possible not to snigger when we discover that Suren was expelled from the Nazi Party in 1941 for public masturbation?