Saturday, 7 July 2007

Man Made Woman

There has been a surfeit of material on tv recently on "posthuman" sexuality. When I upgrade (hopefully) to broadband I'd like to get a video lounge going on the site to reflect this controversial fact. Most especially, I'm thinking of documentaries such as "Future Sex", "Obscene Machines", "Gaming Revolution" and "Sex n'Pop". Although this, as in AI research, is only an emergent field of enquiry, I've posted some of the more promising material below, which give a few hints at future directions. Have also pasted a newspaper article on "Obscene Machines", not least because it describes the content in terms hinting at the combination of novelty and shock value informing the current public debate.Lastly, couldn't resist the classic internet hoax pulled from Wikipedia about gynoids and the German military during World War II.

Man-Made Women
Jon Stratton© All rights reserved
As the twentieth century proceeded, so the substitution of gynoids (manufactured versions of women) for women became more and more commonplace, and naturalised. One transitional moment in their spread and acceptance occurred in the 1920s. During this period avant-garde artists discovered gynoids. In one example, Oskar Kokoschka, the painter, had a doll made for himself. In 1920 Kokoschka was living in Dresden. He had just broken up with Alma Mahler, with whom he had had a tense three-year relationship. The doll was designed to be a life-size replica of Mahler. Peter Wollen writes that Kokoschka even had Mahler's dressmaker construct the doll.
1 Kokoschka describes his anticipation before its arrival. "I was preoccupied with anxious thoughts about the arrival of the doll, for which I had bought Parisian clothes and underwear. I wanted to have done with the Alma Mahler business once and for all, and never again to fall victim to Pandora's fatal box, which had already brought me so much suffering."
It is clear that in Kokoschka's mind he will desire the doll in a way similar to his desire for Alma Mahler. The reference to Pandora's box (with its subtext of a threatening vagina dentata ) suggest, here, a focused sexual desire. The Parisian clothes and underwear reinforce the fetishistic quality of the experience through their own reference to high fashion. Kokoschka wants to dress his doll, hiding her nakedness and increasing her apparent similarity to a woman. For Kokoschka the doll will be a substitute for the woman with whom he no longer has a relationship, but she will also be an improvement on her. Unlike Mahler, with whom he had constant disagreements - including her having an abortion against his wishes, something which helped precipitate the end of the affair
2 - the doll will be passive and obliging.
The packing-case arrived. Kokoschka writes: "In a state of feverish anticipation, like Orpheus calling Eurydice back from the Underworld, I freed the effigy of Alma Mahler from its packing. As I lifted it into the light of day, the image of her I had preserved in my memory stirred into life. "He got his servant to spread rumours about the doll, to give the public impression that she was a real woman: "for example, that I had hired a horse and carriage to take her out on sunny days, and rented a box for her at the Opera in order to show her off". Finally Kokoschka held a big party during which the servant "paraded the doll as if at a fashion show". Kokoschka tells us that a Venetian courtesan asked him if he slept with it. The question, written late into Kokoschka's narrative and not answered, appears as the admission of a repressed desire. Placed in the mouth of a courtesan it suggests a transgressive sexual desire to which Kokoschka is unable to own up. Finally, Kokoschka's doll seems to have been attacked as the party at which she is revealed to his friends gets more drunken. She loses her head (a Freudian castration image, which here can be read as suggesting Kokoschka's fear of the phallic doll he has had made) and is covered in red wine, a metaphor for blood. Kokoschka ends this story by writing: "The doll was an image of spent love that no Pygmalion could bring to life". Whilst this is Kokoschka's official line, his actual relation to the doll seems to have been much more complex.
During the 1920s Hans Bellmer started making jointed dolls in the form of adolescent girls. He arranged these in erotic poses and photographed them. Bellmer's work was taken up by the surrealists and a selection of his photographs were published in their journal Minotaure in December 1935. In 1936 he published a book of the photographs called Die Puppe . The popularity of Bellmer's work among the surrealists argues for a general recognition in this group of the erotic qualities of gynoids (and of adolescent girls), something present in Marcel Duchamp's work, finished in 1925, entitled Large Glass; The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even.
Because of their associations with consumption and desire, mannequins were of great importance in surrealist art. Margaret Plant remarks:
The mannequin is a key player in the surreal game. Hourglass of figure and glamorous, she is a readymade plaything: the female tamed, acquiescent and silent; the poupee made over to the male. She is the sister of E.T.A.Hoffmann's doll, Olympia (a key example of Freud's uncanny ), and the very apogee of consumer art, plucked from the shop window, interchangeable with her mute commercial sisters, made first of wax and then of papier mache.
In the 1938 Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme, organised by Paul Eluard, Andre Breton and Marcel Duchamp at the Galerie Beaux-Arts, the surrealists presented a suite of mannequins as apparitions d'etres-objets (phantom object-beings). Andre Masson's mannequin, "at once painted, caged, and captivated", was typical in its concerns:
Her head is imprisoned in a bird cage, her face caught exactly within the cage door and her mouth masked, with a pansy directly over the opening... She cannot speak; she in entrapped even as she is decorated, wearing at once too much and too little, dressed up and dressed down, naked and rendered mute, added to and subtracted from, but most of all entrapped.
Here the combination of desire and fear, the latter made clear in the images of abusive restraint, are combined in a fetishistic and spectacular presentation.
According to Gail Reekie, in Australia "wax models, known to the [drapery] trade as early as 1902, appear not to have become popular until the period around World War I, when improved production techniques made them more durable and 'lifelike'". She explains: "The wax model was modified in the 1920s to become more alluring. Display figures demonstrated modern hairstyles in 'realistic' fashion, and millinery-display stands in the form of painted heads with natural-looking hair dramatically crystallised contemporary perceptions of female beauty."
5 During the 1930s in the United States, Cora Scovil started to make shop mannequins based on Hollywood stars: "Scovil's Greta Garbos, Joan Crawfords, and Joan Bennetts had plaster bodies and stuffed cloth arms, legs and heads, with long felt eyelashes and felt lips, all done with a theatrical lightness of touch that made them all the more glamorous." However, their method of manufacture made them difficult to work with. Far more satisfactory were the so-called 'Gaba girls' introduced by Lester Gaba in 1934 and "modelled after young New York socialites". 6 Gaba capitalised on the popularity of his 1936 design called Cynthia, taking her on parades and to parties. In the late 1930s the surrealists' fascination with mannequins and their associations led Marcel Vertes to design a window display for Saks Fifth Avenue, and Salvador Dali to design window displays for Bonwit Teller's in New York in 1936 and again in 1939 Breton and Duchamp collaborated on the design for the window of the Gotham Book Mart in 1944, which included a headless mannequin reading...
In A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English , Eric Partridge writes that the word 'doll', to describe an attractive and desirable woman, came into use in Britain in the period before 1864. In this way, language use also reflected the new preoccupation with the gynoids. In the United States, it became common slang in 1930s and 1940s books and films about gangsters. Its meaning was bound up with both the sexual attractiveness of a woman, particularly associated with her use of cosmetic and other fashion aids and a general suggestion of her submissiveness to men's wishes.
At the same time, in both American and British popular songs, men sang abut their preference for dolls over women. A popular song by the Mills Brothers, recorded in 1943 is called 'Paper Doll' and in it is the line "I'd rather have a paper doll to call my own than have a fickle-minded real live girl". Starting in August 1959, Cliff Richard had a number-one hit song for five weeks in Britain with 'Living Doll'. In it, he describes how he has got a "crying, talking, sleeping, walking, living doll". The same song was also a hit for him in the United States, where it entered the charts at number thirty. In 1961 Johnny Walsh, in a song called 'Girl Machine', sang "I'm gonna make me a girl machine / and build me a doll that looks like a dream". As I write, down the road from me in Perth, Western Australia, there is a pub which puts on striptease shows on Friday afternoons. The advertising for these shows describes the participants collectively as 'Living Dolls', which is also the name of the company which supplies the women.
Jon Stratton is a lecturer in Cultural Studies at Curtin University. This piece has been extracted with permission from his new book, The Desirable Body: Cultural fetishism and the erotics of consumption, Manchester University Press.
1. P.Wollen, 'Cinema/Americanism/The Robot', New Formations, no. 8 (1989), p.16.
2. O.Kokoschka, My Life (New York, Macmillan, 1974) p.117.
3. Margaret Plant, 'Shopping for the Marvellous: The Life of the City in Surrealism', in Surrealism: Revolution by Night, , exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1993, p.96.
4. M.A Caws, 'Ladies Shot and Painted: Female Embodiment in Surrealist Art' in S.Suleiman (ed.), The Female Body in Western Culture: Contemporary Perspectives (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1986), pp.264-5.
5. G.Reekie, Temptations: Sex, Selling and the Department Store (St Leonards, Allen and Unwin, 1993), pp.142-3; 143.
6. L.S.Marcus, The American Store Window (London, The Architectural Press, 1978), p.36; pp.30-31; p.37.
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Australian Humanities Review
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School of Creative Arts, Film and Media

Dr Trudy Barber
Senior Lecturer - Media
Creative Arts, Film and Media
St Georges Building 141 High Street Old Portsmouth Hampshire PO1 2HY

Dr. Trudy Barber FRSA

Trudy’s professional interests in media started from the age of twelve from when she became involved in Radio production whilst living in Finland. She went on to work within a variety of broadcast media during her twenties. Her current interests started in 1990 at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London where she studied for her BA in Fine Art. She was particularly interested in the body and sexuality, machines and computing technology. She combined all her interests in her degree work by producing one of the worlds first immersive Virtual Reality installations with a sexual theme in conjunction with a computer media production company called ‘Virtual S’. Her work was particularly understood and welcomed by ‘sexual subcultures’ that inspired her to complete a PhD in Sociology and Cultural Studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Her thesis – Computer Fetishism and Sexual Futurology: Exposing the Impact of Arousal on Technologies of Cyberspace - covers various socio-sexual aspects of the Internet, Virtual Reality and New Media.
Her current research interests are the following: new media development and content; consumer content; online social networking; sexuality and sexual subcultures; science fiction, cyberpunk and the future; virtual life and the convergence and customisation of communication technologies. She has given presentations worldwide, and has appeared in well over 35 radio and television programs. Trudy is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.
In 2005 she was the recipient of the Literati Club Award for Excellence: Most Outstanding Paper in Emerald Publishing’s Foresight Journal, Volume 6, no. 3, for her paper entitled Deviation as a Key to Innovation, Understanding a Culture of the Future.

Published Works
Barber, Trudy: Working title: From Skin Two to Second Life: Analysing Fetishism, New Media and Cyberspace. Currently in development with Berg Publishers (Oxford and New York)
Barber, Trudy (2004) Deviation as Key to Innovation: Understanding a Culture of the Future. Foresight Journal. Vol. 6 No. 3, Emerald Publishing. Cambridge (2004). (Winner of the ‘Award for Excellence: Outstanding Paper’ by the Literati Club, Emerald Publishing (2005).
Barber, Trudy A Pleasure Prophesy: Predictions for the Sex Tourist of the Future. In Waskul Dennis (Ed). Net/SeXXX: Sex Pornography and the Internet. Peter Lang. New York (2004).
Barber, Trudy. (online April/May 2004. ) Resource Centre for Cyberculture Studies. (RCCS, University of Washington) Book Review of the following: Robin Baker (2000) Sex in the Future: the Reproductive Revolution and How it Will Change Us. Arcade Publishing. New York.
Mackay, Judith. The Penguin Atlas Of Human Sexual Behaviour: Myriad Editions. USA (2000). Consultant along with Ian Pearson for the chapter on the future of sex.
Barber, Trudy. Virtual Mentalities, Sexual Physicalities Final chapter in Wood, David (Ed) Body Probe: Mutating physical boundaries. Creation Books. London (1999).
Wood David. (ed.), The New Flesh: Creation Publishing. London. Quotation in photographic anthology (1999).
.NET MAGAZINE: Trudy was the consultant and featured in the article: 'Virtual Kicks' for Jen Rourke, 2002.
LOADED MAGAZINE: Trudy was the consultant for the article: 'Lock up your daughters' for Harriet Warner, 2001.
BLACK ICE MAGAZINE: Trudy helped to start up this cyberpunk magazine and contributed articles in 1993.

Trudy has either written for or featured in the following magazines/newspapers:
Talks / Presentations/ Papers
MRCS Conference, Ireland. Cybersex: Uses and Abuses on the Internet. Paper presentation: What can happen in Cyberspace? Dublin (2005).
Keynote address: Jyväskylä Polytechnic International Conference, Finland, theme: Sexuality in a Virtual World. – A threat or an opportunity in promoting sexual health? Invited as keynote speaker: ‘Taking the advantages, avoiding the threats: How to make the most of a virtual world.’ (2004).
Surrey University: Department of Sociology: Invited to present a ‘Future Sex Manifesto’ for: 'Futures of Feminist Science and Technology Studies'. Seminar series (2004).
Chair: European Federation of Sexology: Chair for internet session Theme: Sex and Computer Mediated Communications: Integrating Computer Technology with Intimacy and Relationships for the 21st Century. Conference in Brighton. Also presented paper: 'Intel Inside': Exploring the Innovative Predilections of 'Master R' (2004).
ESRC: University of Hull Department of Sociology and Anthropology Lecture: Cybersex and Adult 'Digiplay': Introducing Novel Forms of Cyberculture (2004).
University of Essex. Chimera Institute for Socio-technical Innovation and Research: Seminar presentation: Computer Fetishism and Sexual Futurology (2004).
University of Salford: Arts and New Media dept. Two and a half hour Lecture on Teledildonics (2004).
ESRC: Manchester University ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (CRIC) paper presentation: ‘Turning On’ to Leisure with Pleasure: Exploring unusually innovative experiences of 'adult digiplay' (2004).
World Creative Forum, London Design Week: Invited speaker on Panel. Exploring the impact of creativity on business and society (2003).
Ideas in Cyberspace Education (ICE): Paper presentation: 'Reading' cyberspace: the fetishising of information from an online environment? Edinburgh University Conference at Higham Hall, Penrith (2002).
The Porterbrook Lecture: Presentation on Cybersex and the Internet for the Porterbrook Clinic, Sheffield (2002).
The ‘Friends of St. Bride’ (graphic design and printing) first annual conference: Paper presentation: 'Cybersex text' . London (2002).
Chair: 6th. European Congress of Sexology: Presented paper and chaired symposia. Limassol Cyprus (2002).
British Association of Sex and Relationship Therapists (BASRT) Conference: 2 hour presentation 'Cyberculture and cybersex: an Introduction’ Loughborough University (2002).
ESRC: Virtual Methods: Presented paper ' Embedded Fetishism and the Revelations of a Cyberdominatrix' at the Centre for Research into Innovation, Culture and Technology (CRICT) Brunel University, London (2001).
London University: On-Line Education & Training: Presentation and discussion title: Cyberspace, telepresence and communication: a journey from Virtual Reality to the Internet. Department of Education, London University (2001).
Chair: 15th. World Congress Of Sexology: Presentation of research work and Symposium Chair. Paris (2001).
University of Kent at Canterbury: Lecture for undergraduate students in Culture Studies. Title: Cybersex: An Introduction (2001).
Cybersalon at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA): Panel discussion on cybersex at London (2000).
BSA: ‘New Directions In Social Research’, Nottingham University: Presented paper for the postgraduate conference (2000).
Millennium Lectures: At various venues in Kent for winter/spring 2000 (Lecture title: From Canvas to Cyberspace).
Art And Technology Symposium: Gave lecture to Central Saint Martins College of Art undergraduates in their seminar week of cultural studies. London (1997).
World Wide Virtual Reality Conference : San Francisco Conference, ‘Silicon Valley’ U.S.A. Invited to give paper on cybersex: ‘Coming to terms with the sexual ghost in virtual space’ (1997).
Pleasures Unbound: Lecture: ‘Cybersex the New Creative Fetish’ at the Coventry Gallery London (1995).
Embodied Knowledge & Virtual Space: Conference. Presented paper at Goldsmiths College, University of London (1995)
Virtual Futures: Cyberevolution: Conference: Presented paper at the University of Warwick, Coventry (1995).
Art, Gender and Technology: Symposium in Toronto, Canada by Public Access. Gave seminar concerning Sexual Technicians, Computer Fetishists and Scientific Artists (1995).
McLuhan Institute: Live ISDN cyberconference link/interview(CU-CME) with the Institute from London to Toronto, Canada (1995).
I.C.A (Institute of Contemporary Arts): Symposium on the ‘Virtual Body’ in London. Gave presentation of work (1994).
Los Angeles International Art Fair: LA in California USA. Gave presentation of work (1993).
Erotica 1993: Erotic symposium in Bologna, Italy. Took part in panel and seminar on ‘Future Sex’ (1993).

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Obscene Machines (10pm, SBS)
The list of objects that people use to get their rocks off - to use the technical biological term - grows longer and odder. Once a glimpse of stocking was considered something shocking, but as technology has evolved, the shocks have become more of the electric-powered kind.
And we don't mean the usual household devices we associate with electric sexual thrills - the washing machine on spin cycle, plug-in massagers and electric toothbrushes applied in ways not in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. There's now a new world of purpose-designed technological thrills for those wired that way.
Obscene Machines delves into this world. It's a place were sexual gratification relies less on warm flesh and breathless seduction than on cold gears and the flicking of a switch; less on love and intimacy than on technological fetishism. The devices, and the reasons and purposes they are used for, range from the ingenious to the deeply disturbing.
This confronting documentary examines two strands of sexuality as it relates to technology: the construction and use of crude contraptions designed for intercourse, and the desire to have sex with human-like dolls.

The machines - all gleaming chrome, with vibrating rotating rods and pneumatic pistons, functioning with a speed and stamina no man can match - have names such as The Monster, The Intruder, The Probe, The Twinserter, The Snake, The Trespasser and The Toolbox. They're just extravagant tools for masturbation, but, say users, produce a significantly more mind-blowing result than conventional methods.
For technosexuals - those aroused by mechanical dolls, people acting as robots, wind-up toys etc - there are now dolls so lifelike they're creepy. The variety of faces, hair styles and colour, eye, body types and skin tones available means you can create a love doll that will replicate almost anyone you like. The age of sex androids is so close you can smell the sizzle of the sexual circuitry.
Scant effort is made in Obscene Machines to explain these practices in a meaningful way. The analysis relies on anecdote and speculation, mainly from the manufacturers of these sex toys, plus interviews with curious individuals much too keen to explain and demonstrate how technology plays a role in their sex lives.
One for hardcore students of human sexuality, and home handymen.

Jun 23rd 2006Tags: Technology, Sex & Love
Datch waifu (Sex dolls)
Sex dolls in Japan are not generally the grotesque, O-mouthed teen-comedy type, but tend to be much more sophisticated and realistic. In Japanese, these silicone dolls are known as “datch waifu” (Dutch wives), a name likely to be about as popular with Dutch ex-pats as “Turkish Bath” (brothel) was with the Turkish embassy a few years ago.
Originally, a Dutch wife was a body-length wicker bolster used by travellers in the balmy Dutch East Indies to keep a sleeper’s limbs off his sweaty sheets. Apparently, some lonely sailors cuddled up to them just for comfort, which might be where the Japanese got the name from.
The Axis alliance and sex doll history
The modern incarnation of the sex doll was developed in the 1930s for the relief of Japanese naval crews. Similar dolls were being developed at the same time by the Germans, which makes you wonder how things might be different if WW2 had gone the other way.
From pornstar replicas to shag lumps
Some are incredibly detailed and realistic, with faces and bodies modelled on porn actresses. Other manufacturers hack away all nonessential elements - arms, legs, head – until all the customer is left with is a lumpy cushion with nipples and a hole in it. Flat-chested dolls dressed up as schoolgirls also seem to be quite popular – one striking thing about sex dolls in Japan is how young they look.
The most sophisticated silicone dolls can cost around 600,000 yen, and come with a lifetime warranty. Unwanted dolls are discreetly reclaimed by the company, and given a Buddhist memorial service before being dismantled and destroyed.
Dutch wifeswapping
The expense and potential embarrassment of owning a Dutch wife has created a market for the sex doll brothel. At one store, customers pay 12,000 yen for an hour with their submissive silicone escort. Guys sometimes bring in special costumes and cameras, so they can fulfil whatever fantasies their girlfriends won’t, and get a few souvenirs. This rampant sex toy sharing would appear to have serious health implications – you have to hope everyone’s playing safe – and it’s not even worth thinking about what the cleaner has to do.
Dutch husbands
The girls needn’t feel left out, as there’s a whole range of similar dolls for women. Although these “Dutch husbands” possess all the anatomical requirements for a good time, they are unlikely to satisfy any lady who likes her partners dominant.
‘Silicone satisfaction’ (Tokyo Times)“In an attempt to get the low-down on this burgeoning business, Dacapo magazine sent two intrepid students to try out the service.”
‘Sex doll’ (Wikipedia)
‘Dutch wife’ (Tokyo Times)“But in technology driven Japan, dutch wives are not freakish looking inflatable monsters.”
Orient IndustryCompany manufacturing top-of-the-line Dutch wives - loads of pictures (Japanese only)
‘Lusty lady takes quartet of toy boys for a spin’ (MDN WaiWai)“What is less known, is that a counterparts of these dolls, equipped with male appendages, are available for women.”
‘Rent-a-doll blows hooker market wide open’ (MDN WaiWai)“Prime among the sellers of silicon sex workers is Doll no Mori, which runs a 24-hour service supplying love dolls”
‘More cushion for the pushin’’ (“Recently, I happened upon what is probably one of the strangest examples of a sex doll that I’ve ever seen.”

“The Borghild-project – a discreet matter of the III. Reich”
by Norbert Lenz

The world’s first sexdoll – or ”gynoid” – was built in 1941 by a team of craftsmen from Germanys Hygiene Museum Dresden. The project was supervised by the famous preparator and technician Franz Tschakert. The ”Father of the woman of glass”, which happened to be the sensation in 1930’s II. International Hygiene-Exhibit, used his skills and experience in order to create a kind of doll the world had never seen before.
The ”field-hygienic project” was an initiative of Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler, who regarded the doll as an ” counterbalance” (or regulating effect )for the sexual drive of his stormtropers. In one his letters, dated 20.11.1940 he mentions the ”unnessessary losses”, the Wehrmacht had suffered in France inflicted by street prostitutes.”The greatest danger in Paris are the wide-spread and uncontrolled whores, picking by clients in bars, dancehalls and other places . It is our duty to prevent soldiers from risking their health, just for the sake of a quick adventure.”
The project – called Burghild in the first place – was considered ”Geheime Reichssache” , which was ”more secret than top secret” at the time. Himmler put his commander-in-chief SS-Dr. Joachim Mrurgowsky in charge, the highest ranking officer of Berlins notorious SS-institute.
All members of the team – also Tschakert – ware bound to keep the secret.
In July 1941, when Hitler’s army attacked russia, an unknown but ambitious danish SS-Doctor Named Olen Hannussen took over from Mrurgowsky. Perhaps he was the one who changed Burghild to Borghild, which is nothing more than the danish equivalent.
Hannussen pushed everybody forward to make the project a success. The ”galvonoplastical dolls” – manufactured in a bronzemold – were meant to follow the Stormtroopers in ” desinfections-trailers” into the enemy`s land, in order to stop them visiting ”infection herds” - linke front-brothels and ”loose women”. At least, this was Himmler ‘s plan. A psychiatrist Dr. Rudolf Chargeheimer , befriended with Hannussen and also involved in the project, wrote him a letter to clearify the difficulties.
”Sure thing, purpose and goal of the dolls is to relieve our soldiers. They have to fight and not be on the browl or mingle with ”foreign womenfolk”. However: no real men will prefer a doll to a real woman, until our technicians meet the following quality standards-
1. The synthetic flesh has to feel the same like real flesh
2. The doll’ s body should be as agile and moveable as the real body
3. The doll’s organ should feel absolutely realistic.”
Between June 1940 – 1941 IG Farben had already developed a number of ”skin-friendly polymers” for the SS. Special characteristics : high tensile strength and elasticity. The cast of a suitable model proved to be more difficult.
Borghild was meant to reflect the beauty-ideal of the Nazis , i. e. white skin, fair hair and blue eyes. Although the team considered a doll with brown hair , the SS- Hygiene-Institute insisted on manufacturing a ”nordish doll”. Tschakert hoped to plastercast from a living model and a number of famous female athletes were invited to come to his studios, among them Wilhelmina von Bremen and Annette Walter. In the process Tschakert realized it was the wrong way. In a letter to Mrurgowsky he came to the conclusion: ”Sometimes the legs are too short and look deformed, or the lady has a hollow back and arms like a wrestler. The overall appearance is always dreadful and I fear there is no other way than to combine.” While Mrurgowsky still favoured a ”whole imprint” of NS- diva Kristina Söderbaum, the Borghild-designer decided to build the doll’s mold in a ”modular way”. In Tschakerts view the doll should be nothing more than a” female bestform”, a ”perfect automaton of lust”, that would combine ”the best of all possible bodies”. The team agreed on a cheeky and naughty face , a look-a-like of Käthe von Nagy, but the actress politely declined to borrow her face to Tschakert’s doll. After Mrurgowsky’ s exit , Dr. Hannussen rejected the idea to cast a face from a living person. He believed in an ”artifial face of lust”, which would be more attractive to soldiers.
In his logbook he wrote:
”The doll has only one purpose and she should never become a substitute for the honourable mother at home... When the soldier makes love to Borghild, it has nothing to do with love. Therefore the face of our anthropomorphic sexmachine should be exactly how Weininger described the common wanton’s face.”
Today Arthur Rink, born 1919, a master of art and student of Hitler’s favourite sculptor Arno Breker, is the only living eye-witness of the most discreet kept project of the III. Reich.
After a short practical training at ”Puppenwerk Käthe Kruse” he worked since 1937 in Tschakerts studio at the German Hygiene-Museum in Dresden. He joined the Borghild-team as early as 1940: There was on sculptor (rink), a varnisher, a specialist for synthetic materials (Tschakert), a hair-dresser , a lathe operator and - in the beginning- a mechanic from ”Würtemberg’s Metallfabrik” in Friedrichshafen. The first construction-document showed that Tschakert had planned to use” a simple aluminium-skelleton”. But soon he changed his mind and decided to use Elastolin. The synthetic flesh was another problem. Rink: ” The material was not easy to find. Mr. Tschakert, an expert on plastics, had tried several materials based on rubber or butyl-rubber: All came from IG Farben or from the Rheinischen Gummi- und Celluloid Fabrik. One material was called Ipolex, it was extremly tearproof, but it developed yellow spots when cleaned with certain detergents.” At this stage Rink gave the doll‘ s torso the finishing touch, working with plaster and a mixture of ”Schwarzmehl (?) and glue” Under Hannussens strict directions ”ten wanton-faces” (Rink) were modelled, and used by Dr. Chargeheimer in psychological tests. Chargeheimer and Hannussen were convinced, Borghild’s success would depend in a major way on her ”facial expression”. Contrary to common believe , that men get only aroused through female sexual characteristics they thought it all would ”depend on the right face”. Rinks plasters were used to produce some model-heads in a showroom-factory in Königsberg. Varnished and hair-dressed they looked a bit like wigholders.
Purpose of this costly exercise was to find out what type of woman the soldiers would really fancy. Or like Chargeheimer wrote to Hannussen – ”the idea of beauty harboured by the SS might not be shared by the majority of our soldiers.” He even considered ”the vulgar could appeal to most ordinary men”. The results of Dr. Chargeheimers tests at the barracks of Soldatenheim St. Helier are not known. Fact is, that at this time, Rink and Tschakert had already finished a complete model of the doll. Arthur Rink made a solemn declaration about what happened next.
”Three types of dolls were planned : Typ A :168, Typ B : 176, Typ C : 182 cm.
Typ B would be the first to go into serial production. The members of the project were divided about Borghild’s breasts. The SS favoured them round and full, Dr. Hannussen insisted on “a rose hip form, that would grip well” and he won the dispute. The first model of Borghild was finsihed in september 1941. She was exactely the “nordish type”.
The idea of our hairdresser to give the doll a “Schneckenfrisur”(earphones of hair) was rejected by Hannussen. He wanted her to have “a boyish hair-do” to underline that Borghild was “part of the fighting forces”– a field-whore and not an honourable Mother.
Borghild’s presentation in Berlin was a great success. Himmler was there and Dr. Chargeheimer. While the gentlemen examined her artificial orfices , Franz Tschakert was very nervous, but Himmler was so enthusiast that he ordered 50 Borghilds on the spot. It was considered to move to a special production facility , because Tschakert’s studio was too small to cope with the production of 50 dolls. In the face of more and more unpleasant developments in the east Himmler dropped his plans one week later and cut instead our budget.
In the beginning of 1942, some weeks after Stalingrad, the whole project was put on hold. All construction-documents had to be returned to the SS-Hygiene-Institute. The bronze-mold for Type B was never finished. I have no clue of whereabouts of the doll, but I presume, that she - like all my plasters and studies - was send to Berlin. If she was kept in Tschakerts studio in Dresden, it is most likely that she was destroyed in Februray 1945, when allied bombers destroyed the city.”

Fact is: the bombs devastated the Hygiene-Museum . Two models of the woman of glass – Taschkert masterpiece were destroyed.

Photo subtitles:
Arthur Rink was kind enough to contribute the only photos left from the Borghild-doll.

“They are small contact-sheets: Facial study no2. Dominant and Body Total, sideways. I found both photos in the bin of the museum‘s laboratory. I have no other pictures, because it was forbidden to take photos.”

Body Total,sideways shows the first Borghild-doll as presented in 1941 to Himmler at the SS-Hygiene-Institute in Berlin. The influence of Rinks teacher Arno Breker is evident. Breker‘s work is a hypertrophy of the natural bodys expression. The doll is aesthetical refined and reduced to a max of sexual appeal. According to Rink the torso was meant to stay “without artifial hair”. It is possible that the reason for that, was a simple consideration of the hygienic risks .

About the author:
Norbert Lenz, born 1966 in Hamburg, is a freelance-journalist contributing regulary to magazines like Stern, Max and Focus.

The translation was provided by his wife Susanne Lenz.

And finally, the evidence that the story was fake:


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