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Nazi Enigma machine fetches thousands for canny collector

€100 fleamarket find sells for €45,000

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Nazi Enigma machine fetches thousands for canny collector

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A World War Two Nazi cipher machine known as Enigma one has been sold for 45,000 euros at a Romanian auction.

It’s a massive profit for one antique collector who bought it at a flea market for only 100-euros from someone who thought the machine was just an old typewriter.

“The man who sold it is a cryptography professor who’s dedicated his life to Enigma, so he knew very well what he was buying and he’s maybe made the best deal of his life,” said Artmark auction house expert Cristian Gavrilla.

As Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany, historians believe it may host many other cryptographic machines not yet discovered.

During WWII, the Nazis use Enigma to encode and decode messages sent by its military units. It is widely thought that the war was shortened by two years after the code was cracked by British mathematician Alan Turing and his team at wartime code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park.

Last month, Christie’s New York Books set a world auction record of $547,500 with its sale of a “four-rotor Enigma cipher machine, 1944,” to an online bidder.