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    The Polish replica of Enigma in the Enigma Cipher Center

    A unique Polish replica of a German Enigma cipher machine built in the 1940s in France can be seen in the Enigma Cipher Center in Poznań. The exhibit has been loaned by the Polish History Museum and will be on display in Poznan until June.

    Monday marked the official unveiling of the device at the Enigma Cipher Center exhibit. The Center emphasizes that the specimen presented in Poznań is the only publicly available exhibit of its kind.

     

    The Polish replica of Enigma was created in the years 1940-1942, after the evacuation of the Polish Cipher Bureau to France. It was used to read Enigma-encrypted messages. It was built based on the design of engineers from the pre-war AVA company.

     

    After World War II, the device was transported to Great Britain where it ended up in the collection of the Józef Piłsudski Institute in London. In 2020, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the machine became the property of the Polish History Museum.

     

    As Robert Kostro, director of the Polish History Museum, emphasized on Monday in Poznań, the Polish replica of Enigma differs in details from the German original, but the principle of operation is the same. 

     

    “That was the greatness of Polish engineers and cryptologists. They were able to build a machine without knowing its design, without having the original,” he said.

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