British writer speaks on Poles' role in decoding Enigma

According to Turing, British and US cryptologists would have eventually broken the code without help from the Poles, but they would have needed considerably more time. Paweł Supernak/PAP

British writer Dermot Turing spoke on Tuesday about the role of Polish mathematicians in decoding Nazi Germany's World War II Enigma code at the Józef Piłsudski Institute in New York. Breaking Enigma enabled the Allies to monitor German military plans.

Turing, nephew of British cryptologist and Enigma decoder Alan Turing (1912-1954), described the events that led to breaking the code in his book 'X Y & Z: The Real Story of How Enigma Was Broken.' In his Tuesday address at the Piłsudski Institute, he especially emphasised the role played in breaking down Enigma by Polish mathematicians Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, whose calculations enabled Turing to decypher the German code.

He also highlighted the three Poles' construction of a so-called cryptological bomb, a special appliance which considerably speeded up work on decyphering Enigma.

According to Turing, British and US cryptologists would have eventually broken the code without help from the Poles, but they would have needed considerably more time.

The meeting with Turing was organised in cooperation with the Polish Consulate in New York.