Turing manuscript and German ‘Enigma’ code writer to go up for sale

HONG KONG, CHINA (REUTERS) – A notebook about mathematics and computer science written by Nazi-code breaker Alan Turing is on on display at Bonhams auction house in Hong Kong.

The 56-page manuscript is expected to fetch at least seven figures when it goes up for sale on April 13th in New York.

Bonhams Director of History and Science Cassandra Hatton.

Bonhams Director of History and Science Cassandra Hatton:

“The manuscript is the most extensive manuscript done by Alan Turing who’s known as the father of computing. He’s also the man who broke the Nazi ‘Enigma Code’ during World War Two. There are no other manuscripts by him in private hands. There’s never been one to sell at market. It’s almost 100 percent sure there will not be another one.”

Turing was a British mathematician and a pioneer in computer science who hastened the end of World War Two by cracking Germany’s wartime communications code.

Hatton said the manuscript dates back to the time when Turing was engaged in the crucial task of breaking the Enigma Code.

A three-rotor Enigma Enciphering Machine, the same model Turing helped crack, is also up for auction.

Bonhams Director of History and Science Cassandra Hatton:

“So it’s an original, World War Two, German ‘Enigma’ machine. So it’s the enciphering machine that the Nazis used to encode secret messages. To send to each other. Deciding which U-boat to bomb, for example. And it is this very machine. Not this specific one, but this model, that Alan Turing was working to break the code for, and then eventually did successfully. So these machines were the key for the Nazis success until we were able to break that.”

Turing wasn’t credited for his work during World War Two and in 1954 he committed suicide while receiving hormone treatment after being charged with homosexuality, which was a crime at the time. He received a royal pardon from the Queen 60 years later.