KREUZBERGED BERLIN

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin

DAYS AT THE MUSEUM: THE ENIGMA OF THE ENIGMA

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Enigma, German coding machine used during the WW2 by the Nazi land army but especially by their war fleet, Kriegsmarine, on display at the Technikmuseum in Berlin.

One of the often, not to say too often overlooked facts regarding Enigma is the story of its cracking, of the decoding of the secret messages exchanged between German U-Boots hunting down the Allied war and supply ships in the Atlantic.

Despite of what many documentary and feature films try to tell their viewers, those were not the British but Polish scientists who cracked Enigma codes. Three mathematicians from the University of Poznan began their work already in the early 1930s. Without their help Bletchley Park would have remained just another country house where lots of scientists were busy doing their maths. And the war could have taken a different turn altogether.

Here’s the Daily Mail article explaining the Poles contribution to Enigma’s end:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2215003/Secrets-Enigma-code-cracked-Polish-Brits-MPs-claim.html

2 comments on “DAYS AT THE MUSEUM: THE ENIGMA OF THE ENIGMA

  1. Jeroen
    April 2, 2013

    In Poznan, three hours east of Berlin, there’s a nice monument to the brilliant Polish cryptologists that cracked the Enigma code in the 1930/40s. Funnily enough, the human habit of using weak passwords for Enigma settings helped them immensely in figuring it out – nothing’s changed.
    Pity the Technisches Museum doesn’t have a complete Enigma machine.

    • notmsparker
      April 2, 2013

      I hear that the complete Enigmas are very rare. Most of them had to be borrowed for exhibitions, too. This one has been lent to the museum and is not owned by the Stiftung either.
      I knew the story of the Polish mathematicians and cryptologists working on cracking Enigma at the university where I was lucky to have been a student as well: in Poznan:) I steered clear of anything close to maths, though, after my maths teacher in lyceum told me that with my skills in this field I would make a bella figura selling stamps at the local post office;)

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