'Enigma' Exhibit and Event to Be Featured at Duquesne University
**This exhibit and event have been postponed. New dates TBD**
"Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine." -Alan Turing, British mathematician and Enigma codebreaker
An exhibit from the Republic of Poland detailing the early cracking of the Enigma code by Polish mathematicians will be hosted by Duquesne. Enigma-Decipher Victory will be on display on Gumberg Library's fourth floor from Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, March 27.
This exhibit details the breaking of the Enigma Code by Polish code breakers before the start of World War II and draws attention to Polish contributions to Allied efforts to keep up with changes made by the Germans in their wartime use of the Enigma coding machines.
"This program will spotlight the all too often overlooked but invaluable role of Polish mathematicians in deciphering Enigma, an achievement which they shared with their British allies, ultimately facilitating the success of Alan Turing and other British codebreakers at Bletchley Park in breaking a more evolved version of the Enigma code later on, thereby shortening the war," says Robert Charlesworth, chair of Britsburgh.
The Enigma coding machine was originally created for commercial use, then adapted for use by the German armed forces. It fulfilled the need for a secure and mobile military communication device. The Polish Cypher Bureau recruited the top three mathematics students from the University of Poznan when they realized that German forces intended to use the Enigma machine for war in the 1920s. The decryption of the German Enigma code turned the tide of World War II in favor of the Allies.
Additionally, a presentation by Dr. Roman Sznajder titled The Role of Poles in Breaking the Enigma Code will take place on Thursday, March 19 in Gumberg Library from 7 to 9 p.m. Sznajder received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and is currently a professor of mathematics and graduate program director in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Bowie State University in Maryland. Sznajder has authored and co-authored many research articles, presented his findings at numerous national and international conferences and reviewed papers to more than 30 research journals.
Guests will also be able to view a sampling of World War II intelligence, propaganda, publications and artifacts from the Gumberg Library's James F. Clarke Collection on display in the Library's first floor Archive. In 1942, Clarke headed the Balkan section of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the CIA, and from 1943-1945 Clarke also directed the Balkan, Central and South-East European sections of the Office of War Information (OWI).
The Enigma-Decipher Victory exhibit and program are sponsored by Gumberg Library, the Polish Cultural Council of Pittsburgh and Britsburgh. This exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information about library hours and other events, visit the exhibit website.
To register for the event on March 19, visit Britsburgh's website.
Britsburgh (British-American Connections, Pittsburgh), builds bridges across communities by celebrating connections between British-American culture, history, education, tradition and trade in Pittsburgh.
The Polish Cultural Council is 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to showcase the finest achievements in the Polish arts and sciences and help to promote unity among the regions' Polish-American community. polishculturalcouncil.org
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