Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Nazi-era Enigma Machine Found At Flea Market Sells For £44,000 | AIB

A professor of cryptology was at a flea market in Romania when he saw an Enigma typewriter, right away knew it was no ordinary one, which was used to encrypt messages in World War II. When he consulted his price, it cost him 100 euros, but later he auctioned it for 45 thousand euros.

The seller at flea market did not know the value of the great historical relic he had in his hands. It was Wehrmacht Enigma I typewriter used by Germans in the Nazi era to encrypt messages so that the Allied Forces can not know their movements.

Romania was an associate of Nazi Germany until 1944 when it switched sides to the allies. Historians say it may host many other cryptographic devices not found yet. Enigma machines, first developed by Dr. Arthur Scherbuis in 1923, allowed an operator to type in a message and then scramble it using three to five notched wheels exhibiting different letters of the alphabet. The receiver required to know the exact settings of these rotors to restore the coded note.

This machine was in use until the mathematician Alan Turing was able to decode them with a team at Bletchley Park. The machine was made by the company Heimsoeth & Rinke in 1941. Most Enigma machines were destroyed by the Nazis as they advanced through Europe in the dying days of the World War II. About 100 Enigma machines avoided the damage, which makes them a highly sought-after by collectors. 

Later, Professor took the German Wehrmacht Enigma 1 to Artmark, an auctioning house in Bucharest, put this Enigma machine on sale with a starting price of 9,000 euros, which sold the piece to an online bidder who had placed a bid of 45,000 euros.

Note: The instrument sold – to an unnamed online bidder – was made in Germany in 1941 and is in almost perfect condition!

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