The Enigma Cipher Centre tells the unknown story of the success of Polish mathematicians. It popularises the story and places it in the history of ciphers and international technological change. The Centre runs educational, cultural and scientific workshops which inspire social activity in the city centre.
The Enigma Cipher Centre is a brand of Poznań Heritage Centre – a municipal cultural institution. In line with our motto ‘True history. Challenge for the mind’, we use an innovative, multimedia exhibition to tell the story of the breaking of the code of the German cipher machine Enigma by Polish cryptologists: Marian Rejewski, Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Różycki. We want to unceasingly promote and popularise this unknown story because the contribution of the Polish mathematicians to the victory of the allies during the Second World War is still little known or even forgotten.
The Enigma Cipher Centre is the second institution in Poznań, after Porta Posnania, whose activity is rooted in heritage interpretation. We are inspired by the fact that the exhibition devoted to the Poznań cryptologists is located in the exact spot where during the interwar period stood the building of the Poznań branch of the Cipher Bureau, which employed Rejewski, Zygalski and Różycki. By presenting the story of the victory of the human mind over a machine which the Nazi used to conquer the world, we educate and promote the Centre’s values such as open-mindedness, teamwork, joint effort, courage and persistence in pursuing even the most difficult goals.
The Enigma Cipher Centre not only pays tribute to the outstanding Polish cryptologists but it also presents the history of encoding messages over the centuries and of the development of computers and computer science, which are the result of the work on deciphering enemy messages during the Second World War. This fascinating tale is told with the use of multimedia and scenography as well as keepsakes from the lives of the cryptologists.
The Enigma Cipher Centre is an accessible and open institution, welcoming people with disabilities, families with children and seniors. The exhibition is adjusted to the needs of each of these groups. We want to enrich the cultural and tourist offer in Poznań’s city centre. That is why we organise educational, scientific and cultural events in cooperation with midtown activists, universities, museums and community organisations. A similar aim is pursued by the multimedia library (Mediateka), which is an independent part of ECC, holding and making available a collection of materials on cryptologists as well as on Święty Marcin Street and its neighbourhood.