Henryk Zygalski

(b. 5 July 1908, Poznań; d. 30 August 1978, Liss, near Portsmouth)

Zygalski studied mathematics from 1926 to 1932 in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science at Poznań University, gaining his master’s degree in 1932. In March 1929, alongside Marian Rejewski and Jerzy Różycki, he attended a secret course in the fundamentals of cryptology, organised by Poznań University and the Cipher Bureau of the Polish Armed Forces. In autumn 1929 he was employed at the radio intelligence branch in the Poznań citadel, and in September 1932 he was moved to the General Staff in Warsaw. In December 1932, he, Rejewski and Różycki became the first to break the code of the German Enigma encryption machine. After the outbreak of war he was evacuated to Romania, France, Algeria, and again to France, and continued to work on decryption. After the war he remained an émigré in Britain, where he taught mathematics at a provincial school. In 1977 he received an honorary doctorate from the Polish University Abroad in London.

Roman Murawski

L. Maligranda, W. Wnuk, 100 lat matematyki na uniwersytecie w Poznaniu 1919–2019, Wyd. Nauk. UAM, Poznań 2021, pp. 539–540.