Poznań / The Enigma Cipher Center was opened, where the history and achievements of Polish cryptologists are presented

On Friday, the Enigma Cipher Center was officially opened in Pozna – a heritage interpretation center, where you can learn about the history of cryptology, Polish cryptologists and their role in cracking the code of the German encryption machine Enigma. The building is open to the public on Saturdays.

In CSE you can see, among other things, original German encryption machine, borrowed from the collection of the Museum of Polish Weapons in Kołobrzeg. The events related to the opening of the Center start on Friday evening and last until Sunday.

The Enigma Cipher Center is located at the intersection of Kościuszki and Św. Marcin, in the Collegium Martineum building. Before the war, this place was home to a division of the General Staff of the Polish Army’s figures bureau. Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski – mathematicians who broke the code of the German encryption machine – worked there. The facility, which opened on Friday, serves, among other things, to promote the success of Polish mathematicians and their contribution to the Allied victory in World War II.

“After 14 years of dealing with the case of cryptologists in Pozna, we are moving from the mobile presentation phase to the permanent presentation phase. Since the unveiling of the monument to cryptologists in Pozna, through the ashes of Lieutenant Colonel Maksymilian Ciężki to the country, the creating a traveling exhibition that has already visited 48 places around the world and 15 places in Poland, it is time for us to permanently anchor the story of Pozna cryptologists and build it up with an educational story “- said Marek Woźniak, Marshal of Wielkopolska Province on Friday.

Vice Rector of the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Pozna, Prof. Tadeusz Wallas emphasized that the capital of Greater Poland was given an “innovative monument”.

“This is not a monument through which we pay tribute to the marvel of German technology. We pay tribute to those who discovered the way Enigma encoded messages. Thanks to him, the course of World War II was different than it could have been if it had not been for this discovery “- he said.

Deputy Mayor of Pozna Mariusz Wiśniewski stressed that until now there was no space to describe Poland’s role in breaking the Enigma code.

“Thanks to this institution, we show that it was in our city that the road to victory over the Third Reich in World War II began. It is also a tribute to our city, the local university and all the people thanks to whom the encryption course is here created, where our heroes graduated: Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski “- he said.

Wiśniewski recalled that the venture related to the commemoration of cryptologists was started several years ago by the then journalist Szymon Mazur from Pozna.

Families of the heroes of the exhibition came to Pozna for the opening of the CSE. Great-granddaughter of the forerunner of the success of Polish cryptologists, Lt. Maksymilian Ciężki (1898-1951) Joanna Kaczmarczyk expressed her joy at the establishment of the Center.

“This project honors the work of outstanding cryptologists, heroic Poles. I am happy that we will not only learn about their achievements through books and the Internet. Their legacy will live within the walls of this building. In an accessible and attractive way, with an extremely interesting history, they will be able to learn the secrets of encryption, try their hand as cryptologists “- she said.

photo: AMU press materials

The opening weekend of the CSE will be inaugurated on Friday with an outdoor multimedia show using 3D techniques on the facade of the Collegium Martineum building.

On Saturday, the Enigma Cipher Center’s multimedia exhibition will be open to the public. On this day, you can take part in a nighttime tour of the CSE and a secret ciphering course organized in the form of a field game.

The CSE exhibition consists of three parts. In the first, visitors will learn about information encryption methods from ancient times to modern times. The following sections are devoted to the historical events related to the breaking of the Enigma code and its consequences, including the IT revolution. The Cipher Zone has been prepared for the youngest guests of CSE, a special place for families, which should inspire them to gain knowledge themselves.

More than PLN 30 million was spent on the design and construction of the Enigma Cipher Center. More than 10 million PLN are EU funds. The city allocated about 16 million PLN to the project, more than 4 million PLN came from the budget of the University of Adam Mickiewicz.

The operator of the CSE is the Heritage Center of Pozna – a municipal cultural institution. (DAD)

Author: Rafał Pogrzebny

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