The two years since last Congress at Woburn Abbey 1958 were full of activity on the part of the INF.
The two years since last Congress at Woburn Abbey 1958 were full of activity on the part of the INF. This was what could be expected on account of the decisions at the Woburn Congress where the establishment of further new organs of the federation was accepted.
The work of the central committee of the federation suffered a heavy blow when the secretary of the INF Paul Neumann, Vienna, resigned at the beginning of 1959. I shall not go into details in this matter. It is enough to say that in the months after the congress in England it appeared that Paul Neumann and I were very much in disagreement about the course of the INF. I wanted to intensify our work outwardly. I was for a strong extension of the already gained perceptions and results, particularly with regard to a closer cooperation between the INF and the greater member organisation of the federation. Paul Neumann put more strength on the connection with members in secondary countries and individual members. I feared that the extension of the work of the federation on a wide scale would suffer if we attended too much to less important questions, but Paul Neumann would not give up his ideas and at last we have both come to the point where we found that we could not cooperate any longer.
The Central Committee was of course fully informed of these disagreements between Paul and me, and - although everybody including myself regretted that Paul Neumann resigned as a secretary - the committee accepted the resignation. We succeeded in persuading Mrs. Hanni Ricker at Vienna to take over the Secretariat although we were not able to appoint her as a member of the central committee with voting rights as Paul Neumann had been. Her job was to act as a personal assistant for me and for Mrs. Lisl Ehrmann, our treasurer.
The amount of work which was thrown on to me personally as president was extremely great on account of Paul's resignation, for many matters which the former secretary could decide himself because he knew the routine had now to be handled by me, at least until Hanni Ricker had got more acquainted to such matters. Both Hanni Ricker and Lisl Ehrmann have, however, been of great help to me during the last eighteen months, and our cooperation was excellent.
In spite of these administrative difficulties I believe that I can say that the INF has made quite some progress since the last congress, The following new organs have been added to our organizational system:
1) The INF Youth Committee which has now a representative from each of the bigger member-organization, and which is going to constitute itself during this congress.
2) The INF Committee for Naturist Clergymen, which has been organized by a Danish vicar, and who's work, in my opinion, will be most helpful in furthering the work of the federation in certain respects in the future.
3) IPA, The INF Association for Naturist Photographers, which has been organised by Carl Frank, Switzerland.
These three new organs of the INF will serve the purpose of strengthening the connection between our member countries on these particular fields and I do believe they will be of some importance to the further development of the movement.
At the congress in England we appointed some committees on special matters, and I have the following to report on the work of these committees.
This has worked out the motion on the literary foundation which is going to be discussed at this congress. It has also discussed the question of an INF periodical - in cooperation with the press committee.
A Resolution has not yet been found, but I still believe that we shall once be able to carry this plan out. The problem of the creation of a real naturist film has also been treated by this committee, but we have not yet found a good solution. In such matters as periodical-and film questions it is most important that there is somebody who can devote a considerable amount of time on preparations, negotiations with the interested persons, etc., but we have not yet found anybody who were able to wholeheartedly to take hand of matters. Our plans can, in my opinion, only a fulfilled if we succeed in getting a cooperation between our greater organisation in these respects established. There is, of course, also the question of money! The Cultural Committee also handled the matter of the Sport Congress at Helsinki, arranged by the UNESCO. The INF/FNI was invited to take part in this Congress, because we are members of the Union des Assignations Internationale, Bruxelles, and we appointed as official delegates of the INF Rene Kielinger, Switzerland, and Karlwilli Damm, Germany. Our friend Kielinger wrote a fine report on the results of the sport-congress which has been published in our press service. My thanks to both delegates for their achievement on behalf of the INF on this occasion.
As already mentioned this committee has dealt with the problem of an INF periodical, a detailed proposal for the realization of these plans has been worked out. It would be too difficult for me to describe the details of our plans now. The Press Committee will continue its job in this matter, and will in due time publish its ideas and then leave it to the central committee and eventually the next congress to make a final decision on the whole matter. Besides this the Press committee has dealt with several cases of wrong and misleading press reports on the naturalist movement in the daily press in various countries. In all such eases I have as a president, on behalf of the press committee, corrected wrong information and asked the newspapers to publish our official retraction. I see in the press committee an instrument which should be able also to decals, maybe some of our member organizations should consider the question of an eventual revaluation of some of the magazines which they have approved. I would also suggest a close cooperation between the press committee and the newly organized IPA.
As you see there is still much to be done for our committees, the number of tasks to be treated increase from year to year, but it is important that these already established committees continue their business so that we always know to whom we can leave the treatment of special questions which might turn up.
I suppose that the president of this committee, Gilbert Sarron, France, will have a little more to tell the delegates about this matter than I have. It appears, however, that the project with regard to the establishment of a big naturist colony on Corsica will be realised, although not under the name of INTERSUN, and not under the leadership of Ritter De Broc, who originally had the idea. The mayor of Santo Pietro di Tenda, Monsieur Mattei, has, however, shown very great interest in the whole plan, and has done a considerable job in an attempt to realise it, and at the present time it can be reckoned that HELIO Marin Internationale de Saleccia which is the new name of the project should be carried through in the course of this year, so that the international naturist centre on Corsica could be opened in spring 1961. The INF committee on this matter has decided, to take up the attitude not to recommend and approve any such plans in the future before everything with regard to formal recognition on the part of the Authorities and the national naturist organizations is been settled. We will rather next time be too late that too early with our cooperation in such matters.
In this connection I must also mention several other so-called "international projects". It is to me a proof of the Authority which is ascribed to the INF that all associations, persons etc. who have such plans apply to the INF for its cooperation. People do really attach importance to the opinion of the INF, but the INF has become form careful, and we will not approve and support any such plans in the future until we have exact information from reliable people and organizations on the possibilities for realization of the projects. There is for instance presently two or three different projects in Greece, but none of them have so far made any great progress mainly because the interested persons are not connected with the naturist movement. It appears that some smart business people have found out that there might be money in the establishment of big international naturist centres, and we must of course be very cautious with such enterprises. On the other hand if an international financing company with naturists as financiers could be established such a company would be able to help the development of big centres in various countries considerably.
Unfortunately the president of the legal committee Rene Keileinger has been unable to attend in this congress - otherwise he would have been able to tell you a lot about the work of this committee, but he has worked out a lot of motions with regard to alterations and changes of the constitution of the INF to be discussed at this congress. The legal committee has also dealt with the difficult Belgian affair which we are going to discuss one of these days. The legal committee has also been consulted on the question of the registration of the INF. At the last congress it was decided to have the INF registered as an organization. This was therefore it was decided to have the registration at Vienna cancelled sand to have the federation registered in Denmark in stead of in Austria. This is now being done, and we expect to have this matter settled in the very near future.
We have also dealt with other legal matters. The proposition made at the last congress that the INF should prepare records of legal documents from various countries has been taken up and we are presently making an attempt to build up these records. We are for instance in possession of the documents regarding an interesting Italian case. The aim of the legal records should be to collect as many documents from court cases in many different countries pertaining to matters about the legality of naturism, naturist magazines, naturist beaches, naturist camps etc. If in one country or another difficulties for our member organizations arise the documents in the INF legal records will be at disposal for the organisation in question. I now ask the congress to put the money needed for the collection of all the material at our disposal. A clever lawyer who is a naturist himself has offered his assistance in creating these records.
The same lawyer has by the way suggested that the INF should affiliate with the union for conversation of nature, Bruselles, where also the union for international associations of which the INF is a member is seated. We have seen how important it is to be a member of such international unions, so I would highly recommend that we apply for membership of the international union for nature conversation.
This part of our activity has developed into the most important medium of the contact between the INF and its member organizations because the pres service goes to all members, all naturist magazines, and member-papers as well as to many individual persons who take special interest if the work of INF. Through the press service the members and parts of the public are correctly informed of the development of the international naturist movement. Therefore the press service is indispensable and it must in my opinion be still more extended and developed. Above all we would appreciate a more close cooperation between the organizers of the press service and the INF members themselves. We would suggest that every member-organization appoint a contact-man between the organisation itself and the INF to take hand of providing the press service with the news of the organizations in question, cuttings from newspapers of interest to the movement, etc. You would say that all organizations have secretaries and others who could handle this, but it is my experience that these secretaries, general secretaries or what they are, have enough to do on beforehand so that they might easily forget to keep in touch with the press service to the extend we would like to cooperate with them. Please remember this when you are back home again, and have a contact-man appointed. The press service was taken over by Carl Frank in the course of 1959, and he has with the help of various interpreters developed it into quite a good organ of information. Such a press service must be published in perfect English, German, and French, so that naturalist magazines and members organs can reprint the material directly from the original version of the press service. This translations, rewriting etc. cost much money, but we cannot help it, the work has to be done, it takes time to do it , and those doing it must be capable people. We cannot expect them to do it for nothing. Such work which demands high qualifications on the part of the cooperators must be paid
In the autumn of 1959 INF had a chance of obtaining a naturist centre in Denmark, the farm at Vrinners. One of the Danish organizations wanted to buy this farm which is lovely situated at the sea and good for camping, but money was needed. Accidentally Mr. Erh. Wachtler, the vice-president of the INF, visited me at that time during my negotiations with the farmer. And Erh. Wachtler suggested that the INF bought the farm as it was so inexpensive and the INF/FNI was in possession of the amount of d.kr. 10,000,- to be paid out. I suggested for the central committee that the INF should buy the area which was approved, although after some hesitation from Ise Dissen and Albert Lecocq, But having assured the central committee that I would take over the farm and area if this congress could not acknowledge the bargain it was accepted as the financial risk had fallen away. The bargain was arranged, and first the various Danish authorities accepted the INF/FNI as the purchaser. But then something unforeseen happened: In course of November/December, that is after purchase of the Vrinners farm, the Danish government carried through a saying that Danish ground, especially situated at the sea, could not any longer be bought by foreigners. This was the result of a real assault on the Danish grounds near the sea by foreigners. Hundreds of foreigners had during the summer 1959 bought plots along the Est-and Eastern shore of Jutland intending to build their own summerhouses. This trend made the Danish government disquiet, and so this statute was made to prevent such things in the future. The statute was put into force on December 31st - six days later all documents concerning the bargain at Vrinners had ben finished, stamped etc., but it was too late as it says in the statute that such bargains are not finished until everything has been registered, and with Vrinners we were 6 days late. Thus the INF/FNI could not formally take over the Vrinners area. According to my promise to the central committee I have then taken it over myself
and repaid the money to the INF/FNI. In this way the INF/FNI has had no costs so I myself have paid all fees, interests etc. in connection with the bargain.
In the meantime some protests from religious circles arose against establishment of a naturist camping place at Vrinners. Of course the police had in beforehand accepted it as naturist camping place as otherwise it would have been aimless to buy it, but on account of these protests I have not yet opened the area. We leave it in abeyance until the Ministry of Justice has rejected the protests which we do believe will be done. Thus the Vrinners area is my property, but as soon as it has been accepted as a naturist camping place by the Danish Authorities I place it under the patronage of the INF/FNI without any financial obligation. Then this area may be changed into an exemplary and lovely naturist centre. We really have great possibilities of obtaining an international naturist strong-hold and a fabulous holiday whereabouts.
In this connection, I come to speak about the finances of the INF/FNI in general. Most people, I suppose, have been wondering how the INF could possibly to able to pay d.kr. 10.000 for the Vrinners area. Well, this is owing to the fact that during the year 1959 the finances of the INF/FNI have increased considerably, mainly of course on account of the higher prices of the IND-stamps in our passports. In this season - the summer 1960 - the - re has again been an increase in the sale of stamps, and when you hear the report by Lisl Ehrmann you will be pleased as you will learn that to-day the IND/FNI has at its disposal a considerable capital in the bank. It is my opinion that most owners of the INF-Passport have accepted the increase of the price of the stamp which I had expected, too. You must be large and a little idealistic, and if that does not cost more that a few kroner a year everyone can allow himself to be idealistic. But here we see how it is possible only by means of a little contribution from everyone - when we are many - to collect an increased capital without anyone feeling it too much. The question is now how to use this money by the INF/FNI, and it is up to this congress to decide. I have my ideas about it - but will return to that later on during our various discussions.
Besides the income through the memberships of the INF/NFI, through Passport stamps, through sales of INF badges etc. we have had earnings on the Naturist Holiday Guide. This book has been published only by Richard Danehl's Verlag this year. But we have planned next year to publish quite a new book with much better summary, with sign explanation, maps of the area etc. Then the handbook should preferably be published in three languages.
In connection with this congress we have made a car-pennant, and we expect a good profit by the purchase of it. Further more we plan to publish a stamp with our sign INF/FNI to close letters.
All these matters have two purposes: They serve to propagate the INF, the movement and the idea itself, and they procure us with the possibility to collect money for important realizations.
Also the administration of the INF/FNI is now more expensive than formerly, because of steady growing work. It is my opinion that now we want a secretary to work fully for the INF to relieve the president from his unpaid work. I have made a motion on this matter to be dealt with on this congress, and need not to speak hear about this in detail. The fact is that I have so much to do as a president of INF/FNI in these two years that I had to spend not only the most part of my free time, but also I had no time to take any holidays. Further more it was necessary often to spend the whole day of my working time for the INF. You cannot demand anyone to do this, and even if I retire definitely from my post as a president I am interested in obtaining much easier conditions for my successor. On the whole it will be difficult to find another man if and when we cannot get a solution which will discharge the president from his work in an essential way. We think it necessary to follow a principle in an organisation like the INF/FNI which is this: A leader is to lead, and he is to have clever cooperators who can carry out the work in practice.