Rudolf Hentze

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Ferdinand August Rudolf Hentze (born 12 June 1888 in Kassel, died 8 November 1960)[1] was a German officer in the Wehrmacht. During World War II, he was director of Group IV (cryptanalysis) of the General der Nachrichtenaufklärung (abbr. GdNA), a Department of the High command of the German Army (OKH).[2] Major Hentze was responsible for all cryptanalytic work done at GdNA.[3]


Hentze is a descendant of the Hessian Court Garden Director Wilhelm Hentze (1793–1874). In 1834, he was promoted to Dr. phil at the University of Marburg with a thesis titled: The development stages of adolescence from the viewpoint of Typology.[2] Hentze was a specialist in mathematics, statistics and philosophy. In his early career he taught and was a student advisor in various schools in the Kassel area.[2]

During World War I he was a Leutnant in the Engineer Corps of the German Army. During the interwar period Hentze remained a member of the Reserve Officers Corps.[2]

In 1935, while writing a book on Mathematics and Statistics, Hentze developed a keen interest in cryptanalysis. During the period from 1935 until the start of World War II, he was keenly interested in the mathematical relationship of the letter frequencies in various encipherment methods. At the outbreak of World War II, Hentze came to active duty as a Hauptmann Captain in charge of an engineer supply depot in the Bad Kreuznach area.[2] In 1940, his wife died and he received a transfer to his home area so that he could take care of his two children. He was transferred to Kassel and worked as a personnel adjutant in the replacement HQ in the Kassel area.[2]

Military career

In 1942, the German High Command put out a general call for mathematical experts to work as cryptanalysts. Hentze was conscripted and sent for training to Berlin. After several months on the course, he was transferred to the KONA 5 in Saint-Germain in June 1942. He remained there in charge of the new cryptanalysis section until Germany was forced to withdraw from France. In November 1944, Hentze was transferred to a position in charge of Group IV of the GDNA. He remained in this position until the end of World War II.[2]


  • The developmental stages of adolescence from the point of view of type theory. Dissertation, Marburg, 1934.
  • Fundamental laws of youth development Erich Rudolf Jaensch. Barth, Leipzig, 1939.
  • Textbook of Mathematics for Real and Secondary Schools, with Eberhard v. Hanxleden and Herbert Baldermann. Part 2, Year 6, 1954.
  • Textbook of Mathematics for Real and Middle Schools, with Eberhard v. Hanxleden and Herbert Baldermann. Part 3, 7th grade, 1955.
  • Textbook of Mathematics for Higher Education Institutions, Hanxleden. Vieweg & Sohn, Brunswick, Berlin, Stuttgart, 1956.


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