Yesterday and today about 25 European cipher history experts have met at Smolenice Castle in Slovakia. It was a great event.

Paolo Bonavoglia, Prof. Bernhard Esslinger, Hans Jahr, Nils Kopal, George Lasry, Jerry McCarthy, and Prof. Arno Wacker have three things in common. First, they are crypto history experts, second, they write comments on this blog once in a while, and third, they have been attending the European Historical Ciphers Colloquium (Euro HCC) 2017.



Crypto history in the Carpathians

This year’s Euro HCC has taken place at the castle Smolenice, an extremly beautiful location at the edge of the Carpathian Mountains in western Slovakia, near the capital Bratislava.


The conference started yesterday with an introductiory talk given by John Dermot Turing, the nephew of the famous cryptologist and computer pioneer Alan Turing.


There were many other interesting talks. Some of them covered the Enigma, others addressed topics like automated cryptanalysis with CrypTool, breaking the M-94 cipher, or the crypto activities of Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Jean-Jacques Quisquater, a renowned cryptologist, gave a talk on the history of public key cryptography this morning. Paolo Bonavoglia exlplained how he  broke Pietro Giannone’s encrypted poem.

My own presentation was about German spy ciphers of World War 2. Click here for the slides.


Here’s a video (five minutes) I took at the event (the music is taken from Gerhard Strasser’s presentation; it bears a hidden message, as can be seen at the end of the video):


The future of the Euro HCC

There’s no doubt that the Euro HCC 2017 was a great conference. The event location couldn’t have been more beautiful.


The preparations for next year’s edition of the Euro HCC have already started. It will take place in another country, but again at an interesting venue. The name of the event may be changed. A call for papers with all the relevant information will be published soon. Of course, I will keep my readers informed. I’m looking forward to the Euro HCC 2018!

Further reading:


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Kommentare (8)

  1. #1 Rich SantaColoma
    20. Mai 2017

    It sounds like a wonderful event! I am sorry I could not go to see it, but thank you for the updates and video.

    I met Mr. Turing at the NSA conference two years ago, and got to ask him some questions. I’ve heard a couple of other lecturers at the EURO-HCC also, including you, so that is some consolation. The more of such events, the better, to encourage and satisfy interest in the history of cipher, no matter where the audience lives. Keep up the good work!

  2. #2 Klaus Schmeh
    20. Mai 2017

    Bart Wenmeckers via Facebook:
    Looks like a great event and a number of good speakers.

  3. #3 Nils Kopal
    20. Mai 2017

    Hi Klaus!
    Thanks for making the nice video! And yes, the EuroHCC 2017 was a really great event :-). Looking forward for the event in 2018 ^^

  4. #4 Rich SantaColoma
    21. Mai 2017

    In fact, I wish I could have heard this, “… or the crypto activities of Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg”.

    His collected works on cipher, and especially the numerical code book using common word elements, is one I’ve written about. Which speaker covered this topic?

  5. #5 Thomas
    21. Mai 2017
    • #6 Rich SantaColoma
      21. Mai 2017

      That makes sense, and thank you, Thomas.

  6. #7 Jerry McCarthy
    England, Europa
    22. Mai 2017

    “Gerhardt”, oder?

  7. #8 Thomas
    22. Mai 2017

    You’re right, Gerhard F. Strasser