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Enigma was deciphered in Wielkopolska

The first successful attempts to break codes of the German cipher machine Enigma started in Wielkopolska where long before the outbreak of the 2nd World War officers of the Polish Armed Forces gave up old linguistic methods and relied on mathematics. In the capital of Wielkopolska at the University of Poznań of that time they organised a specialist course for young mathematicians whose aim was to select the most able cryptologists. It was not by chance that it was the university from Wielkopolska that was chosen as the place for the course. Before the 2nd World War this region neighboured on Germany and its residents generally knew the language of their western neighbours. Thus, Marian Rejewski, Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Różycki became the main actors of the events to come. Also the first years of the young cryptologists’ work elapsed in Poznań in a branch of the military Cipher Bureau where the young mathematicians began their adventure with the mystery of the Enigma.

For several years the Marshal Office of the Wielkopolska Region has been working intensively to popularise and commemorate the events which had a fundamental impact on the course and result of the 2nd World War. Already in 2007 the Marshal of the Wielkopolska Region Marek Woźniak participated in unveiling of the monument devoted to the cryptologists, situated in Poznań in front of the building of the Culture Centre Zamek in St. Marcin street. A year later thanks to efforts made by the Marshal and the Mayor of the Town and Municipality of Szamotuły there were brought to Poland remains of the Lieutenant Colonel Maksymilian Ciężki – a head of the bureau of the Polish Armed Forces for German codes. The Marshal Office also supports City Games and online games popular among the young (e.g. “Code Breakers”) which through fun teach history and logical thinking. Since 2009 the Marshal Office has been organising in the country and abroad exhibitions on the contribution of Polish cryptologists to the victory of the Allies in the 2nd World War. The exhibitions have already been presented in the Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.