On Saturday, marking the 81st anniversary of handing the know-how to crack German cipher machine to British and French allies, PolandIN will broadcast the documentary movie “Enigma. We have got news” about the amazing story of the Polish mathematicians whose work significantly contributed to the ultimate defeat of the Third Reich in WWII.
Turn on PolandIN on Saturday, 5:14 PM local time to watch the movie about the true history of cracking Enigma (rerun at 4:35 AM).
On July 25, 1939, representatives of British and French intelligence arrived in Pyry (then a village in the vicinity of Warsaw, currently part of the capital city) to take part in a Polish cryptologists' conference. The officials were stunned by the content they heard, namely that the Poles had been able to read Enigma codes since 1932, leaving western intelligence far behind in that field.
A replica of the Enigma machine, as well as the decoding method were presented by Marian Rejewski and his team. Five weeks later, after the German aggression on Poland started, he and his team were evacuated to Romania, and, after many disrupted plans and not without casualties (the death of Jerzy Różycki), they reached Great Britain through France, Portugal and Spain to continue cryptology and intelligence work.
Although they played a crucial role in cracking the Enigma codes, no information about the accomplishment of the Polish mathematicians was disclosed in western countries after WWII. Initially, when the Cold War period began, all the information about Enigma was deemed top secret due to the use of similar devices by the Soviet Union. Furthermore, all the copies of the report from Pyry seemed to have been lost.
Light at the end of the tunnel
In December 2015, the Archives of the French Defence Ministry declassified some of the files documenting the cooperation between France, Great Britain and Poland as well as the work of Polish cryptologists in France in 1940 –1942.
One of the documents named "Technical note in German" turned out to be a shortened copy of the lost report from Pyry, re-written by its authors in France in 1940.
The discovery was confirmed by French and British authorities, including Sir Dermot Turing, the nephew of the mathematical genius and pioneer of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing, and the French cryptologist Philippe Guillot.
Unfortunately, five years on, the knowledge that changed the course of WWII and the Polish contribution to the allies’ victory has still not become widely known worldwide.
"Enigma. We have got news" is the result of the work of the directing and production duo Norbert Rudaś and Andrzej Jachim, supported by the history expert and author of the book „Enigma: Closer to the truth”, Dr Marek Grajek. Arma Civitatis Foundation was the producer, while the Vena Art production house was the executive producer.
The project was co-financed by the Polish History Museum in Warsaw as part of the "Patriotism of Tomorrow" programme, as well as by E.Leclerc Polska and the PZU Foundation.