World War II period machine which was used to send personal messages between Hitler and his generals by encrypting plain German text into secret code has been discovered on eBay for 9.50 pounds. The machine was found deteriorating in a shed in Essex.
Secret German WWII Code Encrypting Machine Found on eBay
Volunteers from The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park hounded the keyboard of the Lorenz machine on the eBay. The historic product was listed as a telegram machine with a price tag of 9.50 pounds.
“My colleague was scanning eBay and he saw a photograph of what seemed to be the teleprinter,” said John Wetter, a volunteer at the museum in Buckinghamshire. He then advanced to Southend to investigate further where he found the keyboard being stored, in its original case, on the floor of a shed “with rubbish all over it”.
“We said Thank you very much, how much was it again? She said £9.50, so we said Here’s a £10 note – keep the change!” the BBC reported today, citing Wetter.
The teleprinter which looks quite similar to the typewriter was used to enter plain messages in German. Then these were encrypted by a linked cipher machines, using 12 separate wheels with multiple settings on apiece in order to make the code.
The Buckinghamshire museum is now requesting people to search for the motor which is another vital part of the machine.
Volunteers while taking the teleprinter back from Essex to the museum found that it was labelled with the official wartime number from the German army that is similar to the machine from Norway.
Chairman of the trustees at The National Museum of Computing, Andy Clark said the Lorenz was deployed in secure locations as “it was far bigger than the famous portable Enigma machine”.
“Everybody knows about Enigma, but the Lorenz machine was used for strategic communications,” said Clark. “It is so much more complicated than the Enigma machine and, after the war, machines of the same style remained in use.”
“This gives us the chance to show the breaking of the Lorenz cipher code from start to finish,” said Clark. “We can show every single point in the process.”