A Cinderella-Stamp Commemorative Issue
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The design features the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor), the most iconic Berlin landmark, against a golden background.
The black band under the Brandenburg Gate is symbolic of the clandestine spy tunnel under Berlin that was dug to access Soviet telephone lines identified by the covername PBJointly. At the right-hand end of the 'tunnel' is a rotary-dial telephone, representing the telephone lines that the tap accessed. At the left end of the 'tunnel' is a reel-to-reel tape recorder, emblematic of the collection of the conversations from the tap.
The complex process of tapping into the three target cables without alerting the Soviets to what was going on was a slow one. It lasted from 11 May through 2 August 1955. Collection of intelligence from the taps, however, began as soon as the first circuits were brought on-line.
The Berlin Tunnel (1955-1956)
The Berlin Tunnel Crest features a golden pickax and shovel emblazoned upon two azure piles against a golden background. The color Azure (Teal Blue) is the color traditionally associated with Military Intelligence units.
These manual digging tools allude to the fact that the tunnel (all 1476 feet/454 meters of it) was dug by hand by men of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
The crest is crowned with a pair of military headphones typical of the period. The headphones are symbolic of the transcribers who listened to the telephone calls and created summaries and verbatim reports of them.
The number 60 on the Berlin Tunnel stamp denotes that this is the sixtieth Anniversary of the start of Collection in the Berlin Tunnel. This is echoed in the dates (1955-2015) at the bottom of the stamp.
When the Russians announced the discovery of the tunnel, Time Magazine (07 May 1956) said: “It’s the best publicity the U.S. has had in Berlin for a long time.”
YourStamps is the Cinderella-Stamp printer for this project. They are located in Berlin.
As mentioned at the Gina Lotta Post Artistamp Museum,
T.H.E. Hill is also the designer of the "Americans in Berlin" sheet of Cinderella stamps,
He is also 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.
To learn more about Voices Under Berlin: The Tale of a Monterey Mary, a novel about the Berlin Tunnel, follow the links below.