In 1913 a man sent an encrypted postcard from Jena, Germany, to his lover in the Hamburg area. Can a reader decipher this cryptogram?
Tobias is also a collector of encrypted postcards. Once again, he has provided me a scan of one of his items. This time, it’s a postcard depicting the Neue Universität (New University) in Jena, Germany.
As can be seen on the text side of the card, the recipient was an unmarried woman named Elsbeth Keitel living in Wandsbek-Mariental, which is today a borough of Hamburg.
The sender is not mentioned, but chances are that it was Elsbeth’s fiancé (as frequent readers of this blog know, most encrypted postcards were sent by young men to their lovers).
The first line of the message on the card is written in the clear: “Jena, den 15. Juli 1913”. This means that the card was written on July 15th, 1913, in Jena.
The cipher used is probably a letter substitution (MASC). Some of the letters have two dots on top of them, which probably means that they stand for umlauts (Ä, Ö, and Ü). The first encrypted word in the text could be MEIN.
All in all, it should be possible to solve this encrypted postcard. If you have found the solution, please leave a comment.
Further reading: A postcard from 1909, encrypted in a strange number code