Polish breakers of Enigma code commemorated in London

On Sunday, 10 November, a plaque commemorating the Polish cryptologists who helped break the Enigma code was unveiled at the St Andrew Bobola Church in London.

The rectangular bronze plaque honours Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki, Henryk Zygalski, and the Polish Cipher Bureau, with the three Poles being the first to employ mathematics in cryptanalysis and the first to break the Enigma code in 1932. They passed their work on to French and British allies on the eve of the Second World War, in the summer of 1939. Their mathematical and technical achievements laid the foundations for Alan Turing’s work and the mass-scale code-breaking effort of Bletchley Park.

Among the guests invited to take part in the ceremony, organised to mark the 80th anniversary of Poles passing the deciphered Enigma code to the Allies, were Zygalski’s relatives, cryptology experts and representatives of the Polish community in the United Kingdom.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador of Poland Arkady Rzegocki said: ”Today’s unveiling of a commemorative plaque dedicated to Polish cryptologists, designed by cryptology specialist Marek Grajek in cooperation with Andrzej Suchcitz, is another important step towards popularising the knowledge of the Polish contribution to Allied victory in the Second World War”.

”I hope that this commemorative plaque will remind us about the great effort of the Polish mathematicians and their cooperation with the British and the French, which contributed to shortening the largest armed conflict in human history and saving millions of lives.”


The inscription on the plaque, financed by the Polish Embassy in London, reads: ”In memory of Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, the three Polish mathematicians, and their superiors and colleagues from the Polish Cypher Bureau who were the first to crack the German Enigma code and lay the foundations of the Allied cryptological effort during World War 2, thanks to which the war was shortened and many lives saved.”

A holy mass dedicated to Poland preceded the unveiling.

Source: Polish Embassy UK Press Office

Pictures: Polish Embassy UK and British Poles