Sunday, October 26, 2008

Secret Messages

If you're interested in crypto machines, espionage equipment and the Cold War, there's a unique temporary exhibition called 'Secret Messages' at the Jan Corver Museum in the Netherlands. It is an unmatched collection of very rare cipher machines and radio equipment from the Second World War until today.

There are three beautiful Enigma machines, a Wehrmacht model, the notorious Kriegsmarine Enigma and as if an Abwehr (counterintelligence) Enigma isn't rare enough, they have a special pre-Abwehr model which is a crossing between the Enigma D and the later Abwehr type. But there's plenty more in the Museum. Two Russian Fialka cipher machines, various Hagelin models, a NATO M-190 and even the famous Siemens Geheimschreiber T-52 (see picture) and a most rare SIGABA CCM. A dream for every Cipher machine lover!

They also have a great collection of WW2 clandestine and spy radios such as the B2 suit case radio. From the Cold War era they have a wide range of spy radios, from the American RS1 to recent Soviet Special Forces radios. Surveillance equipment, bug tracing devices and spy cameras. It's all there.

A unique collection and a must for all those who are interested in WW2 and Cold War clandestine and espionage communications and cryptography. They are very helpful in explaining all the equipment and give all visitors a personal guide tour in different languages. The museum can be visited each Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00 hr, at least until the end of the year. A phone call before your visit is a good idea. Update: due to its success, the exhibition is prolonged until at least the end of February 2009!

You can visit the Jan Corver website, with some great pictures of the exhibition, or download the press release (pdf). I can highly recommend a visit, it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance!

PS: Since this is such a unique collection, a little tip to the smart criminals: all pieces are removed from the museum and relocated every evening, so don't bother trying to acquire some free machines :-)

2 comments:

Gerry said...

To: dirkrijmenants@telenet.be
Subject: Station X Video

Hello Dirk,

And again, my compliments on you exemplary work.

I am trying to locate a DVD called Station X published in the UK sometime in the late '90s.

It was done in the PAL system which is not too difficult to translate into our NTSC here in the states.

The DVD copy/translation currently in my library leaves a lot to be desired.

Any leads you may have would be appreciated.

Also, there seems to be conflicting opinions as to how far BP got in breaking the Geheimschreiber.

Some say that only two messages were resolved, while others say that BP was reading a majority of this traffic on a regular basis.

Any thoughts?

Kind regards,

Dirk Rijmenants said...

Hi Gerrt,

I'm afraid I can't help you with the DVD. As for the Geheimschreiber, there were several machines called like that, it actually means cipher machine. Mostly, they were talking about the Lorenz or the Siemen und Halske T-52. WHich machine are we talking about?