Lieut-Colonel Gwido Langer

1894 - 1948

Cryptographer. Born in Zylina (now Slovakia), but raised in Cieszyn (Poland), Langer attended the Theresian Military Academy in Austria and the Higher War School in Warsaw. He became Head of the Polish Cipher Bureau and led the team which, in 1932, broke the German Enigma code. Polish Intelligence shared this knowledge with the British just before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, who notably continued to break increasingly more complex versions of the code at Bletchley Park, northwest of London. Langer had escaped to the South of France, but was captured by the Germans in 1943 after they occupied Vichy France. However, he kept the secret that the Allies were able to read German signals, undoubtedly shortening the War. Having been liberated from captivity in 1945, he eventually made his way to Scotland.

Langer died in Kinross and was buried amongst Polish comrades in Wellshill Cemetery in Perth. In 2010, at the request of his daughter, his body was exhumed and reburied with full military honours in his home town of Cieszyn.

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