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Recently, the grandfather of one of my friends died, and I helped him clean up the storage room he used. We found a lot of cool stuff there (well, he was alive during the occupation time in the second world war), but one thing stood out: In a box in the corner we found an old newspaper and a gramophone record plate. The newspaper was apparently printed during the war (somewhere near the end of January in 1941, according due to the faint numbers we saw), and the record plate only contained one song: The national anthem.

Later that day, we were talking with his grandmother, and she told us that the grandfather was on good terms with the Germans, and thus allowed to continue to print newspapers for the local community (of course censored), and to continue to use the small radio station he operated. He was allowed to do that in order to help the local fishermen with weather reports and news. He even was allowed to play the national anthem every time in the morning. Apparently the German officer liked him a lot...

But why did he keep those two specific parts? Even she did not know it, she just told us that directly after the transmission of that morning, the grandfather came home, and placed the plate in the box, together with the newspaper, and hid it. She never asked, and he never explained.

Of course, we were interested what could have caused that behaviour, and we listened a lot to the record plate, but we never discovered the mystery behind it. Maybe the newspaper could have helped us? The only thing that was still "readable" was the front image of it. I tried to scan it in as good as possible, and uploaded it. Unfortunately it is a bit too large for this page, thus it is stored here, but I could make it a bit smaller for a first impression (thanks to humn).

I also added the recording from the record plate here, after they have to be connected somehow (at least I think so).

Can you help my friend and me to discover the legacy of his grandfather?

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  • $\begingroup$ @humn: How can I link an image? $\endgroup$ – arc_lupus Apr 13 '16 at 6:48
  • $\begingroup$ Looking good. I've deleted that formatting sandbox post $\endgroup$ – humn Apr 13 '16 at 8:08
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Doing a Fourier transform on the scan from the newspaper gives us this in the lower left corner:

enigma settings

text: I IV VII C 1 5 11 AV BS CG DL FU NZ IX KM OW RE START:WXC MSGKEY:KCH

These are clearly settings for an Enigma Machine:

The rotors are I, IV, and VII
It uses Reflector C
The rings should be set to AEK (1, 5, 11) BFL because OP used pyEnigma incorrectly ([1,5,11] in pyEnigma is conventionally notated as 2 6 12 due to a 0/1-indexing discrepancy)
The ground (start) should be set to WXC
The plug board should be set to:
A<->V B<->S C<->G D<->L F<->U N<->Z I<->X K<->M O<->W and R<->E

Putting the Morse transmission from Matt's post through an Enigma machine with these settings we get

BARBAROSSAXSTARTETXZWEIXZWEIXJUNIXNULLXSECHSXNULLXNULLXBEREITETXTRUPPENXVORXHEILXHITLER

or more readable:

Barbarossa startet zwei zwei Juni null sechs null null bereitet Truppen vor heil Hitler

Thus your friend's grandfather's legacy is

an involvement in Operation Barbarossa, which began on 22 June (apparently, from this transmission at 0600 hours)

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Aza Apr 13 '16 at 8:51
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NOT THERE YET

The recording:

is Morse Code. Here it is decoded:
INTERCEPTEDXIMPORTANTXMESSAGEXBUTXCANXNOTXDECRYPTXITXINFORMATIONXINXNEWSPAPERXW‌IXGINMNDPCDEVHAFKMOZIURTZLEVXAZNHMLFVEAXNDLYHHZGGPOOKRZOMSSVZYSPMLAYNRUJZTKJOKCUN‌​VHWNEX

With some formatting:

Intercepted important message but can not decrypt it. Information in newspaper. (X)W‌IXGINMNDPCDEVHAFKMOZIURTZLEVXAZNHMLFVEAXNDLYHHZGGPOOKRZOMSSVZYSPMLAYNRUJZTKJOKCUN‌​VHWNE(X).

The last bit looks to me like some kind of key. I put the first and last Xs in parentheses because I wasn't sure if they belong or not, considering they're used for spaces in the first part of the message.

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  • $\begingroup$ Partly, Dropbox messed my encoding up, I intended to hide it completely... $\endgroup$ – arc_lupus Apr 12 '16 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisCudmore: It is a hint, but other than you are thinking $\endgroup$ – arc_lupus Apr 12 '16 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ An interesting coincidence that I have not been able to match to anything: at byte offset 073fccf in the PNG file, the string "HIIDDE" appears. I thought it might be a marker for "HIDDEN" ... but no luck yet. $\endgroup$ – Ross Presser Apr 12 '16 at 17:44

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