Two years ago, I blogged about a beautiful encrypted postcard sent by a man named Fritz to his lover Leni. A blog reader has now made aware of a similar card from the same sender.
In June 2018, when one of the hottest summers since time immemorial took its course, I blogged about the following encrypted postcard:
The Iserlohn postcard
This card, which was provided to me by my friend and comedy hacker Tobias Schrödel, was sent from Iserlohn, Germany (a city today mainly known for its hockey team). As can be seen on the address side, …
… the recipient was an unmarried woman named Helene Obermeyer living in Arnsberg, Germany. Arnsberg and Iserlohn are both located in the Sauerland, a region in Western Germany near the city of Dortmund.
Like many other encrypted postcards, this one was apparently sent by a young man to his spouse. The card is dated January 16th, 1901.
My readers didn’t have any difficulties in breaking the encrypted message. Only hours after publication, Thomas Bosbach posted the following plaintext:
Über deinen lieben Brief sehr gefreut. Du wunde(r)st dich über meine Poesie. Dein Schatz muss alles können damit du mit seinen Leistungen zufrieden bist. Dir räume ich das Recht ein dass du entzückend lieben kannst. Wir beide verstehen uns vortrefflich. Unser Zusammensein soll später ein Paradies sein, mein süsser Engel!
Gustav sagte am Sonntag Änne käme in nächsten Tagen schon wieder. Vielleicht sind wir Sonntag dort. Schreibe dir vorher mein lieb Leneken.
Herzlich grüsst und küsst dich immer dein dich treu liebender Fritze.
Here’s a translation:
I have been very pleased about your letter. You’re wondering about my poetry? Your darling needs to be capable to do everything in order to make you satisfied. I appreciate that you are a great lover. The two of us get along with each other very well. Our being together shall be a paradise later, my sweet angel!
Gustav said last Sunday that Änne will already return over the next days. Perhaps, we’ll be there on Sunday. I will write you before, dear Leneken.
Cordial greetings and kisses from your always faithfully loving Fritze.
The Unna postcard
Blog reader Werner has recently made me aware of another encrypted postcard written by the same person. It was published on a website where I would least expect to find a cryptogram: the homepage of the city of Unna section of the German bicycle association ADFC.
The reason why this card caught the attention of a bicycle organisation is that on the picture side a bicycle can be seen. According to the ADFC site, this is the oldest known picture depicting a bicycle in the city of Unna.
The Unna postcard is dated September 9th, 1901, which means that it was sent eight months after the one from Iserlohn. AS can be read on the ADFC page, a woman named Katja Bolzenius from Holzwickede, Germany solved it. Ms Bolzenius certainly could have deciphered this cryptogram with the information provided in my 2018 blog post, but she probably didn’t know this publication. Instead, she used codebreaking techniques and the software Excel. Here’s the plaintext she derived:
ERWARTE MICH MORGEN NACHMITTAG UM
VIER UHR ZEHN DORT AM BAHNHOF
FREUE MICH SEHR DICH MEIN LIED WIEDERZUSEHEN
LIEB MORDEN ESSE ICH DICH AUF
GARANTIRE VOR NICHTS
HERZLICHE GRÜSZE AN ALLE
BESONDERS AN DICH MEIN HERZIGES LIEB
MORGEN LACHEN WIR BEIDE.
I congratulate Katja Bolzenius on her codebreaking success. If a reader knows other postcards from Fritz to Leni, please let me know.
Further reading: Nine encrypted postcards sent from Harry to Charlie