M-209 broken in WWII

Hadmut Danisch hadmut at danisch.de
Tue Sep 28 12:54:12 EDT 2004

Anish wrote:
>  could you please translate atleast the abstract for the rest of us :-)
> http://www.heise.de/tp/deutsch/inhalt/co/18371/1.html

Sure, some of the first paragraphs:

As a german codebreaker in World War II

Klaus Schmeh 23.9.2004

For the first time a witness reported, who was involved in breaking the
US cipherdevice M-209

Even experts didn't know until some years ago that german deciphering
specialists broke ciphers of the allied in the second world war.
But several sources document, that the germans at that time succeeded
to decipher the US cipher device M-209. Telepolis associate Klaus
Schmeh, who is specialised on cryptology, has finally found a 
contemporary witness, who participated in the decryption of M-209

One of the most fascinating episodes of technical history happend in
World War II. At that time british experts on the manor Bletchley
Park near to London broke the famous german cipher device Enigma under
the strictest secrecy, where they used thousands of people and
for that time top modern data processing devices.

Until some years ago, the doctrine was, that the germans, in contrast
to the british, underestimated the potential of the science of 
deciphering and couldn't read the radio messages of their enemies.
It is known for just a few years, that this assessment is
'political correct' but wrong.For example, the former President
of the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik
BSI (German Federal Office of Security in Information Technology)
Dr. Otto Leiberich reported, that the germans broke the
US cipherdevice M-209 in the WWII, what was absolutely not an
easy untertaking. More documented successes in deciphering proof,
that the german code breakers were even among the best of the world.

The explanations of Otto Leiberich provided also an important source
of information for the author of this article, when he wrote his
recently published book "Die Welt der geheimen Zeichen - Die 
faszinierende Geschichte der Verschlüsselung" (The world of secret
signs - the fascinating history of encryption). An excerpt of this
book, that was published on Telepolis, caused a little sensation:
A 84 year old man from Frankfurt reported to the author and explained
that he was involved in breaking the aforesaid US cipherdevice M-209.
After there were only second-hand reports about german codebreakers
in WWII, for the first time an eye witness appeared, who furthermore
brought some completely new aspects to light. With this article the
memories of this contemporary witness are published for the very first 

OK, these are the first few paragraphs. If you want to have more about
this you should ask the publisher for a translation, because under 
german copyright law even the translation is a right of the author.


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