h 82 cm x w 57 cm
The English called him ‘Rupert’ and the Americans ‘Oscar’. The Allies used these paratrooper dummies to cause confusion and chaos among the German troops.
These jute dolls, hanging from blue or white parachute with a self-igniting explosive charge on their backs, descended like real parachutists. When they hit the ground, they exploded and the pieces flew in every direction. While the Germans were distracted, real paratroopers safely landed at a strategic location or the Allies could secretly drop weapons. These parachutes were very popular among the population because in the wartime period textiles were scarce: the material was used to make clothing. The dummies were less popular and often ended up in a ditch. Not a totally unnecessary measure, because often the charges only partly ignited and might still go off. For that reason, Rupert dolls with their explosives were hardly preserved in their entirety. Components from the collections of the South Holland Resistance Museum and the Frisian Resistance Museum have made it possible to exhibit a Rupert doll in its entirety.