Rare Nazi Coding Machine Sold on Ebay for $14

Trevor English

 military-issue Lorenz teleprinter[Image Source: Wikimedia]

In the most recent news about insane Ebay finds, volunteers from The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park have found and bought a top secret Nazi code machine for just US$14. The machine would have likely been used to send messages between high-ranking officers in WWII, perhaps even Hitler himself.

"One of my colleagues was searching on eBay and came across what seemed to be a German Lorenz teleprinter, so we bought it and drove to Essex ... and there it was in a garden shed under some rubbish, the Lorenz teleprinter in its carrying case." ~ Museum Volunteer, CNN

Named the Lorenz SZ42 cipher machine, very few of the machines are still in existence, and the museum volunteers are trying to assemble a working device. The Lorenz machine bought off of Ebay was missing a motor, a crucial part in bringing it back to life. Most people have heard about the German Enigma machine, but the Lorenz machine was far larger and much more complicated, according to BBC. Given the Enigma's portability, it would have been used more widespread, but the Lorenz machine was kept in the most top secret of headquarters.

Lorenz Teleprinter
Source: Ludovic Rembert | Privacy Canada / Wikimedia Commons

Teams working on assembling the machines are hoping to recreate the entire encoding process, from sending the initial message to receiving and decoding it on the other end. Now that this story has gotten so much attention, the Museum is hoping that someone in the public will find the missing Lorenz motor and come forward, hopefully completing the assembly of the top secret piece of machinery.

SEE ALSO: Root: The Little Robot That Teaches Kids To Code

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