Bletchley Park’s Annual Polish Day
Bletchley Park’s annual Polish Day on Sunday 17 July will celebrate the important contribution made by three Polish mathematicians, Marian Rejewski, Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Różycki (who are commemorated on the Park’s Polish Memorial), for their work on the breaking of Enigma. Bletchley Park will also be remembering other Polish contributions and involvement in World War Two such as Krystyna Skarbek, a Polish Special Operations Executive agent who was the real life inspiration behind Ian Fleming’s Bond Girls.
The day will include Polish dancing, food and displays, themed talks and a Spitfire fly-past by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight*.
Special Lectures for the day will include:
Jarek Garlinsky will be talking about the Sikorski–Mayski Agreement. This landmark treaty, which took place 70 years ago, re-opened communications between the Polish and Russians, eventually resulting in the release of Polish prisoners-of-war held in Soviet camps, from among whom a 40,000-strong army was formed under General Władysław Anders. The whereabouts of 1000s more Polish officers would remain unknown for two more years.
Frank Carter will discuss ‘The Zygalski Sheets’ – an account of one of the pre-war Polish methods used to break Enigma, invented by the mathematician Henryk Zygalski, together with an appraisal of its historical significance.
The Enigma Cinema will be showing a special film about Christine Granville/Krystyna Skarbek, a Polish Special Operations Executive agent, celebrated for her daring exploits in intelligence and sabotage missions to Nazi-occupied Poland and France. Her resourcefulness and success have been credited with influencing the sabotage organisation’s policy of recruiting increasing numbers of women. She was also a friend of Ian Fleming and is said to have been the inspiration for Bond girls Tatiana Romanova and Vesper Lynd.
The Polish children’s dancing group ‘Lajkonik’ will be performing traditional Polish dances throughout the day. There will also be a special exhibition from the Polish Centre in Hammersmith on ‘Poland’s Road to Freedom’, as well as guided tours of Bletchley Park in both Polish and English, and children can have a go at creating a traditional Polish craft. The Pigeon at War group will also be doing a pigeon release (weather dependent). A Polish menu will be available in the cafe.
*All Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Flypasts are subject to weather conditions and aircraft serviceability.
Sent by Redworks