Israeli military mail: Haganah registered cover sent 20 May 1948 from Negev headquarters to Tel Aviv HQ ("Red House"); arrived Tel Aviv 21 May 1948; with 3 Negev, 1 TA, register, "by air" and "secret" cachets. VF.
The "Red House" is famous in Israeli political and military history: built between 1923-26 in the 'Ecclectic' style, painted in a reddish color and located along the water front in Tel Aviv, it originally served as the city's [Zionist-socialist] workers council building as a service and social activity locale. In the 1930's it secretly housed the Haganah's illegal immigration activities: newly arrived immigrants would be mixed in with workers and laborers socializing and dancing in the evening hours.
During the Second World War the building housed the British Army's command staff and even a prison of the Palestine Police. After the war the building resumed concealing immigration activities; the Palmach general staff also moved into the building, and in 1947 the Haganah command moved in too, and at the end of the year, the entire Jewish defense high command moved in as well. In 1948 a Haganah recruitment office opened in the building as well. For a brief period after the War and the foundation of the State, the Foreign Ministry operated out of the building. From the 1950's to the 1970's the building housed the kibbutz movement's activities, until it was demolished and the Sheraton hotel built in its place.
מילות מפתח: היסטוריה בולאית מעטפות חותמות דואר צבאית ישראלית צה"לית מלחמת השחרור הגנה פלמ"ח תש"ח