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 Words in the News
  BBC Central European Analyst Jan Repa reported on how, at a ceremony in Warsaw, Britain gave Poland one of the Second World War German Enigma encoding machines.
  AudioListen to the report in full

21st September 2000

UK gives Enigma machine to Poland

 AudioListen to the first part of the report
  According to British accounts, Germany’s vitalEnigma’ code was cracked a year before the outbreak of hostilities in 1939 by British cryptographers who went on to break successively more sophisticated German codes throughout the war. The information is said to have contributed to defeating Germany’s attempt to bomb Britain into submission in 1940; the destruction of a large part of the German army in Normandy in 1944; and, thanks to an Allied tip-off, to Soviet victory in the war’s greatest tank battle at Kursk in 1943. The Poles say the ‘Enigma’ code was first broken in 1933, six years before the outbreak of war, by a team of Polish mathematicians, who went on to work at the secret British wartime decoding centre at Bletchley Park.
  AudioListen to the words

vital - if something is very important, it is vital

Enigma - name for the German machine which turned normal text into secret code

cracked - if a secret code is broken, it is cracked

the outbreak of hostilities - when a war starts it is described as being the the outbreak of hostilities

cryptographers - people whose job is to break secret codes

to bomb .... into submission - to make a country surrender by bombing a lot

tip-off - a useful piece of information about something that is going to happen is a tip-off

NEWS 2  AudioListen to the second part of the report
  The Poles say they managed to construct copies of successive versions of the ‘Enigma’ , two of which they passed on to Britain and France in 1939. At the Warsaw ceremony, the Duke of York acknowledged the contribution made by Polish code-breakers, after which the Polish Prime Minister, Jerzy Buzek, declared the Polish side’s "great satisfaction". But the Polish government is also pressing for information on the fate of the wartime archives of the Polish intelligence service, which were taken over by Britain. The British side says the archives were destroyed because they contained no important information, but the Poles remain unconvinced.
  AudioListen to the words

to construct - to build

acknowledged the contribution made by - officially said how important what they did was

pressing - if you are asking strongly for something, you are pressing for it

the fate of - what happened to

archives - historical documents and records are archives

remain unconvinced - if you remain unconvinced of something then you still do not believe it is true


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