Hansel Schmidt is an East Germany "girly boy" who loves rock music, and is stuck in East Berlin until he meets Sergeant Luther Robinson, an American soldier. Luther proposes marriage to Hansel, planning to allow Hansel to leave communist East Germany for the capitalist West Germany. However, in order to be married, the couple must consist of a man and a woman and according to Luther, there will be "a full physical examination." Hansel's mother, Hedwig, gives her child her name and passport and finds a doctor to perform a Sex reassignment surgery. The operation is botched, however, leaving Hansel – now Hedwig – with a dysfunctional one-inch mound of flesh between her legs, the eponymous "Angry Inch".