A Cinderella-Stamp Commemorative Issue
Fifty years ago on August 13, 1961, the USSR-supported German Democratic Republic built a wall around the three western sectors of the city of Berlin, condemning generations of Germans to the totalitarian confines of The German Democratic Republic. The issue of this sheet of Cinderella-Stamps commemorates that infamous event. The Wall eventually fell on November 9, 1989, reuniting people who had become strangers.
While a whole generation has grown up since the Fall of the Wall, remembering this odious event will help to keep humanity from making the same mistake twice. History may not repeat itself word for word, but it does rhyme a lot.
In his "Foreword" to Berlin 1961 by Frederick Kempe, General Brent Scowcroft says "History, sadly, does not reveal its alternatives." Kempe's book, however, says Scowcroft, "prompts the reader to reflect on crucial questions regarding the Berlin crisis that raise larger issues about American Presidential leadership."
The same could be said of T.H.E. Hill's novel The Day Before the Berlin Wall: Could We Have Stopped it?. It is based on a "Legend" that says we had intelligence information that would have allowed us to stop construction of the Wall, and suggests what alternative history might have presented, if this information had been used to stop construction of the Wall.
The images above and below are displayed twice their actual size. The stamp itself is 1 X 1.75 inches.
The first Cinderella stamp ostensibly commemorates the fiftieth Anniversary of this atrocity, but with an accent on the Fall of the Wall. The left side of the stamp shows the construction of version one of the Berlin Wall, made of small individual cinderblocks. This segment of the Wall is overlaid with the dates for the Fiftieth Anniversary: August 13, 1961-2011. The right side of the stamp shows version four of the Berlin Wall, built of pre-cast concrete segments, but with a prominent hole, surrounded by the zero in the number 50, displaying the date upon which the Wall fell: November 9, 1989.
The second Cinderella stamp shows the crests of West and East Berlin, facing each other across a barbed wire fence, against the background of the German flag. The anniversary dates abut the barbed wire. This stamp expressly lacks the "Happy Ending" of the first, to recall the suffering that the Wall caused.
The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Construction of the Berlin Wall Cinderella Stamps come in a sheet of 15, with fine (7 perforations/cm) and correctly perforated stamp corners on high-quality glossy, water-activated gummed paper. Cinderella Stamps are not valid for postage.
YourStamps is the the Cinderella-Stamp printer for this project. They are located in Berlin.
T.H.E. Hill is also the designer of:
the "Americans in Berlin" sheet of Cinderella stamps,
the "Francis Gary Powers U-2 Pilot" sheet of Cinderella stamps,
and The Fiftieth Anniversary of the First Permanent Buildings on Teufelsberg Cinderella stamps.
and the award-winning author of three novels about Berlin.
while you are here, please take some time to learn more about all these interesting productions.