Marian Rejewski, Henryk Zygalski, Jerzy Różycki
These research mathematicians and cryptologists successfully broke, in late 1932/early 1933, the cipher of Enigma – the German message coding machine. The pieces of information thus acquired and forwarded to the allies enabled follow-up work and reading of the Nazi correspondence, consequently making a contribution to the Allied Forces’ victory in World War 2 (1939–1945).
Marian Rejewski, 1905–1980
Born August 16, 1905 in Bydgoszcz. In the Partition time, Bydgoszcz, then as Bromberg, was part of Provinz Posen – the Province of Poznań. Rejewski graduated in 1929 from the University of Poznań, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Having been through a secret course in cryptology, held by the military intelligence service, he joined the efforts aimed at deciphering German machine-based codes and ciphers. The effort proved successful by 1932, despite the German propaganda ardently claiming that no message sent via the Enigma could possibly be read.
During WW2 (1939–1945), Mr. Rejewski incessantly took deciphering efforts: initially, in France, and then in England. He returned home in 1946, but it was not until 1967 that he had his recollections published to disclose his personal input into the breaking of the Enigma code. He died February 13, 1980 in Warsaw.
Henryk Zygalski, 1908–1978
Born July 15, 1908 in Poznań. While a grade-three student of Mathematics at the Poznań University, he went through cryptology training. Together with Marian Rejewski and Jerzy Różycki, he successfully decoded the German ciphering machine Enigma. Once WW2 (1939–1945) was over, he stayed in the UK where he taught maths. The Polish University in Exile awarded him with honorary doctorate. He died August 30, 1978 in Liss, England, and was buried in London.
Jerzy Różycki, 1909–1942
Born July 24, 1909 in Olszana [today, Vilshana] near Kiev. Being a third-grade Mathematics student with Poznań University, he qualified for a cryptology course. Geography was the other field of his studies, and he has articles published in this area to his credit. Together with Marian Rejewski and Henryki Zygalski, he decoded the German ciphering machine Enigma. In 1941, he was seconded to a cryptologists’ centre in Alger, North Africa. He got killed in a crash of the French vessel Lamoricière which crashed against an offshore rock or stroke a mine at the Balearic Islands shore.