1. says

    The Borghild doll was already exposed as a hoax in 2005, but the story went global in 2011.

    The real horror is the countless rapes that occurred in occupied countries during WWII. The Wehrmacht estimated that by 1942, 750,000 babies were born in the areas occupied by German troops in the Soviet Union. Much of this was through rape.

    Female deaths in connection with the rapes in Germany after the Soviet invasion, overall, are estimated at 240,000. Antony Beevor describes it as the “greatest phenomenon of mass rape in history”, and has concluded that at least 1.4 million women were raped in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia alone. Whatever the actual numbers, they were horrifically high.

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn took part in the invasion of Germany, and wrote a poem about it entitled “Prussian Nights”:

    “Twenty-two Hoeringstrasse. It’s not been burned, just looted, rifled. A moaning by the walls, half muffled: the mother’s wounded, half alive. The little daughter’s on the mattress, dead. How many have been on it? A platoon, a company perhaps? A girl’s been turned into a woman, a woman turned into a corpse. . . . The mother begs, ‘Soldier, kill me!’”

    In his book, “Taken by Force,” J. Robert Lilly estimates the number of rapes committed by U.S. servicemen in Germany to be 11,040.

    Similar behavior took place in the liberation of France. U.S. troops committed 208 rapes and about 30 murders in the department of Manche alone. French men also raped women perceived as collaborators with the Germans.

    Estimates vary as to how many women were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese, with numbers ranging from as low as 20,000 from some Japanese scholars to as high as 410,000 from some Chinese scholars, but the exact numbers are still being researched and debated. Many of the women were from occupied countries, including Korea, China, and the Philippines, although women from Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and other Japanese-occupied territories were used for military “comfort stations”.

    Due to taboos in Japanese society, the number of women raped by US military personnel remains largely undocumented, but the numbers are probably similar to those committed in Germany.

    There’s a good deal of documented info on various Wiki sites about these events for those interested. I grabbed a lot of this information from those articles.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Bill. You are correct, as usual. The Borghilda doll was exposed as a hoax. And Heathcote, in a message to me about your comment, writes: “He’s quite right (but I do mention that it’s been thought of as a hoax; I just don’t come down on either side).” Heathcote adds that you are also “right about the atrocities committed by allied troops with or without biddable Barbies in their backpacks. The most grisly book on the subject is by Jacques Bacque, ‘Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation 1944-1950,’ Little Brown, 1997. He has Eisenhower’s order to starve prisoners in camps and to shoot anyone trying to feed them.” The message ends: “‘Cursed be he that e’er invented war.’ Christopher Marlowe”

      I think it’s important to quote the following lines from the poem (at 7:40 of the video) to understand how it deals with the Borghilda hoax, which is hardly a mere “mention.” I’ve said before that Heathcote’s polemical poems, of which this is one, are CT scans of history. To my mind, the way “It’s a Barbie World, or Nazi Sex Dolls in Space” treats the hoax is further proof of that:


      By way of a footnote to this story some finding it offensive
      To imagine Nazis producing anything that gave pleasure
      Have judged it to be a hoax from beginning to end.

      Dismissing tales of the Nazi High Command testing “synthetic comforters”,
      They’ve claimed every detail, as first documented by a Norbert Lenz,
      To be spurious, particularly since any historian called Lenz seems elusive.

      But scepticism hasn’t stopped it prompting a feeding frenzy:
      “Nazi sex dolls,” screams the Sun newspaper in July 2011,
      “Hitler’s blow-up ‘girls’ for disease-ridden troops.”

      This isn’t, of course, proof since the Sun’s capable of claiming
      That sex doll replicants at Roswell were left there by Martians
      And interest in the phenomenon has prompted outlandish embellishments:

      ‘German technology produced Burghildas so sophisticated
      They’d even fake orgasms, threatening the sex workers of Berlin!’

      Yet there’s always a grain of truth in even the wildest fabrications,

      For people believe anything, however bad, of their bad fairies
      And, when bearings are lost, whatever’s believable becomes true:
      When a petrochemical by-product is acceptable as a soldier’s sweetheart,

      Then a bad fairy can lure the unwary into the cruelest of worlds
      Where Playstation’s computer graphics, though entirely unreal,
      Can be used to train drone missile pilots who then go on to kill.

      Eerily the urban myth of these Nazi sex dolls would lead to real dolls,
      For the US Army had three such artefacts serving their troops in Vietnam:
      A Marilyn Monroe, a Jacquie Kennedy and a Marilyn Chambers

      — Marilyn Chambers being a popular porn star of the period.
      All three Pentagon-issue models could be filled up with warm water,
      Then used for Rest and Recreation by GIs between killing —

      Making you wonder what’s true in this wilderness of mirrors
      Where what may have never existed seems to have reproduced itself
      By some weird morphic resonance or distorted reality field.

      Yet on the other hand a doll created by necrophiliac mysogynists
      To re-route the life-force and contain the cold sexual fury
      Of Nazi supermen and the strutting members of a Master Race

      Isn’t hard to believe in, since to empty alienated feelings into a doll
      Saves wasting time on love or on sympathy for anyone else.
      Male emotions can be retained for Fuerhers, or for Presidents, or for flags
      or for death.

      The Nazis’ V2 rocket, a phallic emblem of fascist aggression,
      Went on to power NASA’s space program, and who knows
      If NASA’s long journeys won’t require sex dolls in space —

      Thus penetrating the cosmos with flawless beauties that won’t age
      On which man bestows the orgasmic pinnacle of his being,
      While he lovelessly buys and sells people like puppets.


      I’ve typed these lines from a printed version of the poem issued by COLD TURKEY PRESS in a limited-edition folio of Heathcote’s poems entitled “American Porn.” — JH

      • says

        Yes, I noticed that Heathcote addressed the hoax. And I like the way he gives it a mythical quality because the story, real or not, is an important metaphor for how war leads to human objectification. His treatment of the story is ingenious.

        Even in the 90s, in the Balkans, the UN estimates that 20,000 women were raped. The themes he address remain with us. I wish there was more information about war rape during the Vietnam War, but of course, we won’t be hearing much about that. Bravo to Heathcote for his great poem and his moral and social vision.