Solved: The notebook of Emil Klein

Blog reader Armin Krauß has deciphered Emil Klein’s encrypted post-war notebook. Here are the details.

Deutsche Version

A few years ago, blog reader Matthias Axinger alerted me to a television documentary called “Secret Underworlds of the SS – The Secret of Stechowice.” It’s about an SS officer named Emil Klein who was imprisoned in the Czech Republic after the end of World War II.


Klein’s encrypted notebook

Klein allegedly knew something about a secret Nazi tunnel system near Stechowice, a town south of Prague. Rumor had it that the Nazis hid gold and other valuable goods in this underground facility. However, it is uncertain whether this tunnel system ever existed. In any case, the Czech secret service agents who interrogated and even tortured Klein got nothing out of him. Klein was not released from prison until 1964. He died seven years later. There is more on this here.

Klein left behind a coded notebook. The following screenshots from the TV documentary show it:

Quelle/Source: ZDF

Here is another picture:

Quelle/Source: ZDF

Unfortunately, I do not have any further information about this book. On my “Encrypted Book List” it is at position 00111.


Armin Krauß’ solution

Already years ago blog reader Armin Krauß solved the diary of Emil Klein. He only had the above screenshots at his disposal – a great achievement.

Quelle/Source: Krauß

Unfortunately, I have never gone into this story on Cipherbrain. True to the motto “better late than never” I want to make up for it today.

Armin cracked the cryptogram using frequency analysis and guessed words. Here is the substitution table:

Quelle/Source: Krauß

Some symbols therefore stand for bigrams. This addition makes deciphering much more difficult. Interestingly, the symbol for the bigram ER is the fusion of the symbols for E and R. It is similar with EN and ST.

The following picture shows a decoded sentence from the diary (page 18):

Quelle/Source: Krauß

So that would be another mystery solved. Thanks to Armin for this once again great achievement!

If you want to add a comment, you need to add it to the German version here.

Further readingZwei verschlüsselte Tagebücher: Wer kann sie knacken?


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