West Branch, Iowa – On March 9th at 2:00 p.m. the Hoover Museum will present a free talk, The Berlin Tunnel Operation: A Cold War Intelligence Triumph, by Lou Mehrer.
Mr. Mehrer is a retired CIA officer who served in senior assignments in Washington and abroad. He also oversaw the declassification of materials for the CIA's official history of the Berlin Tunnel Operation. Most recently he participated in the UK film production, Spies Beneath Berlin, the history of the Berlin Tunnel Operation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in Modern European History and German Literature. He continued his studies at the University of Frankfurt in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, and later, was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Rutgers University where he earned a Master of Arts in History. He is currently working under contract as a Senior Review Officer in the CIA’s declassification program.
There was no single operation that more typified Berlin’s importance as a strategic intelligence base than the construction of the Berlin Tunnel. This was possibly one of the most impressive operations undertaken by the CIA in the 1950s and it was successful despite the fact that the KGB knew about the operation even before the construction of the tunnel began.
Work on the tunnel began in 1954 and took one year to complete. Regrettably the operation was over before the DCI even approved the project, however about 40,000 hours of telephone conversations were recovered. This included information that was invaluable – all before the days of reconnaissance satellites and other more sophisticated means of collection.
There is no charge to attend the talk, The Berlin Tunnel Operation. The program begins at 2:00 p.m. and seating is not reserved. Regular museum admission will be charged to view the Hoover galleries and the new temporary exhibit, Along the Iron Curtain: Germany’s Cold War Frontier.
The Hoover Museum is located in West Branch, Iowa, ¼ mile off Interstate 80 at Exit 254. For more information please call 319-643-5301 or visit the website at www.hoover.archives.gov.