The 13th Floor

Did Adolf Hitler Really Invent the Sex Doll?

While historians have recorded the battles, atrocities, and ghost blimps of World War II in great detail, Hitler’s secret sex doll program remains shrouded in mystery to this day. The Borghild Project was (supposedly) a super-secret attempt to stop the spread of syphilis by providing Nazi soldiers with inflatable sex dolls. That’s right: Hitler invented the blow-up doll!

Sadly, the evidence in support of this having actually happened is sketchy, so it probably isn’t a true story. But “Hitler invented the sex doll” is such an awesome idea, we should pretend it happened anyway. I mean, what’s Hitler gonna do about it now, right?

“I Got My Nazis In Paris and They Goin’ Gorillas…”

The following facts are not in dispute: The Nazi occupation of France in 1940 led to a lot of fraternizing between German soldiers and Parisian prostitutes, and the resulting outbreak of syphilis led to a lot of ubermensch losing the spring in their goosesteps and not showing up to oppress Jews and/or get high-and-tight haircuts. Something had to be done!

In a document supposedly uncovered by journalist Norbert Lenz (who doesn’t seem to have published much other than this story), SS chief Heinrich Himmler wrote: “The greatest danger in Paris is the widespread and uncontrolled presence of whores, picking up clients in bars, dance halls and other places. It is our duty to prevent soldiers from risking their health for the sake of a quick adventure.”

Himmler’s solution wasn’t “tell the men to stop schtupping French whores.” Instead (as the story goes) Himmler said, “Let’s make plastic women who don’t have diseases!” And so the above-top-secret Borghild Project was born.

Proper Hygiene Is Important

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

After Hitler signed off on the plan, Himmler hired Franz Tschakert of the German Hygiene Museum to design and manufacturer the Nazi-riffic sex dolls. Tschakert was a real person: he created the “Woman of Glass” — an anatomically correct transparent sculpture of a woman that caused a sensation in 1930s Germany — so it’s at least plausible that he would be tapped for the gig of designing a perfect fake-lady.

The Nazis quickly recognized a huge flaw in their plan, however: Who’d seriously fuck a doll?

Here’s how Nazi psychiatrist Dr. Rudolf Chargeheimer described the issue:

“The purpose and goal of the dolls is to relieve our soldiers. They have to fight and not be on the prowl or mingle with ‘foreign womenfolk.’ However, no real men will prefer a doll to a real woman.”

That is, unless the dolls can meet a high bar of quality.

Chargeheimer suggested the following three standards to overcome the potential reluctance of the soldiers (If any of this happened):

  1. The synthetic flesh has to feel the same as real flesh.
  1. The doll’s body should be as agile and movable as a real body.
  1. The doll’s… organ should feel absolutely realistic.

A tall order, surely — but if Nazis were anything, they were up for a challenge, so the team at the Hygiene Museum set to work.

Initially, sex dolls with aluminum skeletons were considered, but rejected. Tschakert eventually decided on “galvonoplastical” dolls made of out of elastolin, a plastic-like material used in children’s toys.

Making the Perfect (Nazi) Woman

With the material problems solved, the brave Nazi sex doll makers turned to the actual design of the woman. As you’d probably guess, there were a lot of different opinions on what the perfect woman looks like. Tensions seemed to have run pretty high as weird old Nazi freaks made cases for the kind of chick they liked best.

Tschakert wanted to plaster-cast a whole woman, and invited athletes Wilhelmina von Bremen and Annette Walter to model. The plaster casts proved disappointing, though. “The overall appearance is always dreadful,” Tschakert wrote, noting “Sometimes the legs are too short and look deformed, or the lady has a hollow back and arms like a wrestler.” Eventually, Tschakert and his team settled on a stylized representation of a woman, with graspable breasts, and an athletic look. This is all very, very creepy.

Next challenge: The facial features. The Nazis were supposedly very concerned with the sex-thing’s face, believing it more important than the body in making SS men aroused.

“When the soldier makes love to Borghild, it has nothing to do with love. Therefore the face of our anthropomorphic sex machine should be exactly how Weininger described the common wanton’s face,” Tschakert wrote.

After actress Käthe von Nagy declined to lend her countenance to the doll, the team decided Borghild should bear an “artificial face of lust.” They molded ten different faces, and used psychological tests to determine which was the most desirable to the most men. Borghild’s hair was kept short, to remind her, uh, users, that she was part of the fighting force, and not a feminine ideal.

With the design locked, Tschakert and company began cranking the prototype Nazi sex doll. It looked like this:

According to the reporting of journalist Lenz :

“Borghild’s presentation in Berlin was a great success. Himmler was there, and Dr. Chargeheimer. While the gentlemen examined her artificial orifices , Franz Tschakert was very nervous, but Himmler was so enthusiastic that he ordered 50 Borghilds on the spot.”

Whether these 50 dolls were actually produced is murky. Some say the dolls were tested in the field, but soldiers refused to carry them due to the fear of embarrassment if they were captured. Some say Himmler cut the funding before the dolls were finished, because the war was going pretty badly by 1942… and also it’s kind of a dumb idea. Some say the whole thing never happened at all. Because, seriously, it probably didn’t.

The Hygiene Museum really was heavily damaged by Allied shells during the bombing of Dresden, though, which conveniently destroyed evidence of the project (if any existed). All that survived were the photos you see above, that were supposedly rescued from the garbage by a sculptor, and given to — you guessed it — Norbert Lenz.

The Aftermath…

While no example of a Borghild is known to have survived the war (if any such doll ever existed in the first place), the inflatable sex doll has become an ubiquitous gag gift at bachelor parties and an important decorating detail at low-rent frat houses.

Leave it to Americans to create sex dolls that best the Germans in every way… for example, the “Real Dolls” you see above are a triumph of ingenuity that would make any SS officer jealous.

Take that, Hitler!