Codebreaker/mathematician, Marian Rejewski, kick started his association with cryptography by taking up a cryptography course at the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau. That paved way for him joining the Cipher Bureau of Polish Military Intelligence during September of 1932. This was the historical year when he deciphered the Enigma, a milestone in the cryptographic timeline. He had come to know of its existence two years earlier, and it became his obsession, studying it constantly. Even with the French and the British devoting their attention to it, it was Rejewski who conquered it. What he noticed was that the machine wasn't used to saturation, and hence its weaknesses began to surface.
His knowledge of its internal wiring was shared with British and French intelligence officials during a conference held by the bureau, in order to join forces in taking on the enigma together in 1939 and during that time, the Germans re-designed the Enigma numerous times. But when war reared its ugly head in Poland, he was forced to relocate to Vichy France to carry on further investigations. War sent him and mathematician Henryk Zygalski to almost every corner of Europe, and they were even imprisoned in Spain for three months. From there, they moved to Britain, where they worked on the SS and SD ciphers at Boxmoor as part of the Polish Army. This promoted him from private to second lieutenant to first in a matter of a few years. Rejewski, along with Zygalski and a third mathematician, Jerzy Rozycki, managed to be invaluable in decrypting German Army and Air Force messages in 1939, the time when World War II shook the world. But post war, he set out to reunite with his family, and took up a job in a factory which produced cables.
Although he kept silent about his work with the Enigma for most of his life, he wrote a memoir for the benefit of a Military Historical Institute, following which he published tonnes of papers about his cryptographic findings. He received some recognition on 12 August 1978 from Order of Polonia Restituta, when he honored him with the officers cross. He died two years later on account of heart disease.
- The untold story of enigma code breaker honored , Government news network
- How mathematicians helped win WWII, NSA
- Courtesy of NSA: http://www.nsa.gov/cch/cch00006.cfm