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Enigma exhibition in London pays tribute to Poles

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 15.03.2016 12:13
An exhibition highlighting the role of Polish cryptographers in breaking the code of Nazi Germany’s Enigma machine has opened in London.
Photo by Olga Topol, Jozef Pilsudski Institute in LondonPhoto by Olga Topol, Jozef Pilsudski Institute in London

Poland’s ambassador to Britain, Witold Sobków, unveiled the exhibition on Sunday at the Jozef Pilsudski Institute. The display, entitled Enigma Relay, opens to the public today.

In a speech, Sobków said: ''Enigma Relay is not only a great visual exhibition explaining Polish cryptanalysts’ part in the race to break the code of Nazi Germany’s Enigma machine, but also promises to be an enriching educational project.”

The exhibition is to be accompanied by workshops for local schools, and a series of lectures on the history of the Enigma by cryptology specialists, concluding with a conference in the autumn.

Polish experts broke the Enigma code in 1932. They passed their work on to their French and British allies in the summer of 1939, on the eve of World War II.

Code-breaking efforts were continued by the British at Bletchley Park, a manor in central England that was commandeered by Britain’s intelligence services during the war.

The exhibition opening was attended by Daryl Brown, the deputy mayor of London’s Hammersmith district, which has a sizeable Polish community.

Brown said: “The Enigma Relay project, which aims to facilitate conversation and foster relationships between the Polish and British public, has an important educational, integrational and inclusive profile and will serve as a contribution of a minority group to the London community.”

The decoding of Enigma Machine ciphers used by Germany played a key role in the Allied war victory, according to historians, who have argued that the conflict was shortened by several years thanks to information gleaned by cryptographers. (pk)

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