- Category : Science-Mathematics-Statistics
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (6,9,60)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Contagion 3
Polish mathematician and cryptologist who in 1932 solved the plugboard-equipped Enigma machine, the main cipher device used by Germany. The success of Rejewski and his colleagues Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski jump-started British reading of Enigma in World War II; the intelligence so gained, code-named "Ultra", contributed, perhaps decisively, to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Five weeks before the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Rejewski and his colleagues presented their results on Enigma decryption to French and British intelligence representatives. Shortly after the outbreak of war, the Polish cryptologists were evacuated to France, where they continued their work in collaboration with the British and French. They were again compelled to evacuate after the fall of France in June 1940, but within months returned to work undercover in Vichy France. After the country was fully occupied by Germany in November 1942, Rejewski and fellow mathematician Henryk Zygalski fled, via Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar, to Britain. There they worked at a Polish Army unit, solving low-level German ciphers. In 1946 Rejewski returned to his family in Poland and worked as an accountant, remaining silent about his cryptologic work until 1967. As the Russians used a modified version of the Enigma after WWII, the fact that its code system had been broken by the Western allied effort was kept a secret during a long time after WWII.
Rejewski, who had been suffering from heart disease, died of a heart attack at his home on 13 February 1980, aged 74.