Rejewski, Różycki, Zygalski lectures
of the Mathematics and Computer Science Faculty Council
of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
celebrating the 75th anniversary of Enigma deciphering
The Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of Adam Mickiewicz University is celebrating the 75th anniversary of deciphering the German Enigma cipher machine. We would like to pay tribute to Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, the graduates of our University, by establishing a series of annual lectures in computer science under their patronage. The series will be inaugurated on January 25, 2008 – the Cryptology Day.
Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, the three former students of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science of Poznań University, deciphered Enigma at the turn of year 1932 and made it possible to read the confidential correspondence of German Reich. Six years later, on the eve of Hitler's invasion of Poland, the copy of this machine together with the deciphering methods and devices, were handed over to the French and the British military intelligence.
Historians agree that being able to read the Enigma encrypted correspondence contributed greatly to the war’s end, and therefore saved many lives. It was Poland's significant contribution to the defeat of Nazism. Scientific achievements and ethical attitude of the three Polish cryptographers are also a testimony for the present and future generations proving that one can fight effectively for his homeland's independence not only on the battlefield but also using the power of human mind. The work of Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski is worth commemorating also due to their role in computer science development.
It is important to stress that their success which initiated advanced mathematics application in cryptology, was possible thanks to their high qualifications earned at the Faculty of Mathematics and Science of Poznań University, under professor’s Zdzisław Krygowski guidance. It is also necessary to mention the contribution of other people engaged in Enigma's decipherment, i.e. Gwidon Langer, Franciszek Pokorny, Maksymilian Ciężki, Antoni Palluth and other researchers working in the prewar Ciphers Office and Polish military intelligence. Today we pay tribute to them as well.