David Cross Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation Marks 80th Anniversary of Second World War
The programme, which will be delivered by Maciek Bator from For Your Freedom & Ours Project and Action for Community Transformation Initiative (ACT), will launch with talks from Sir Dermot Turing, author of ‘X, Y & Z - The real story of how Enigma was broken’.
Sir Dermot Turing will deliver his first talk to a group of students at Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI) before taking to the stage at the Great Hall, Queen’s University Belfast at 7.00pm on 12th September 2019. He will provide an insight into how the intelligence services of three countries; France (X), Britain (Y) and Poland (Z), came together to unravel the enigma machine and explain how this unique collaboration was one of the most secret success stories that made the Second World War victory possible.
Alan Turing, Sir Dermot Turing’s uncle, became one of the most influential code breakers of the Second World War, and has been chosen by the Bank of England to be the new face of the £50 banknote in 2021.
Explaining what the twelve month cross-community, educational programme involves, Maciek Bator For Your Freedom & Ours Project Coordinator says:
“A shared history educational programme is being delivered in partnership with Action for Community Transformation Initiative (ACT). Through a series of talks, events and art interventions, we will explore the historical links between Poland, Northern Ireland and the UK that developed thanks to our shared history. Many people may not be aware, but in the first two years of the Second World War, Poland was the UK’s biggest and only alliance supporting them in the war effort, including Polish Air Forces in the Battle of Britain.
“I’m therefore delighted to welcome Sir Dermot Turing to Belfast to kick off the programme. The remarkable story of the joint effort of Poland, UK and France codebreakers is often forgotten. And there is no better time than on the 80th anniversary of the Second World War to reflect on how important the collaboration really was. I also want to thank the David Cross Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation for their support. This is a fascinating project, and we hope it will have a positive impact on communities.”
Discussing the programme Dr Terry Cross OBE, from the David Cross Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation, said:
“In any democratic society, tolerance and respect for other views and perspectives is something that must be consistently fostered to ensure that new generations can continue to enjoy the benefits that accompany a peaceful society. Maintaining good community relations takes effort. It requires individuals to see situations from others perspectives. By building understanding, we can build trust.
“This cross-community programme is seeking to provide engaging, thought provoking talks, events and activities that encourage people to think about the society that they live in, and recognise the benefits that come with diversity and embrace life.”
Speaking about his visit to Northern Ireland, Sir Dermot Turing, author of ‘X, Y & Z - The real story of how Enigma was broken’ said:
“The achievements of Bletchley Park and the British code-breakers are widely understood to have helped shorten the Second World War by up to two years. What is less well known is how much the British were in debt to the work done in Poland on the Enigma problem before the war began. This is not just the story of an international treaty, because at its heart is a story about people – in some cases, intriguing and eccentric people – bound up in wider events they could not themselves control. All the elements of a classic spy story are here: clandestine meetings, midnight escapes from the Nazi police, betrayals – and at the centre of it all, an amazing piece of mathematical analysis. This all adds new spice to the already extraordinary story of Bletchley Park.”
If you would like to attend Sir Dermot Turing’s talk on 12th September at 7.00pm in the Great Hall at Queen’s University Belfast, please call Maciek Bator on M: 07930476649 or visit www.facebook.com/WWIIPolesNI/. This event is free to attend.
Furthermore, to commemorate the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Belfast is preparing an exhibition about the participation of Poland in war fighting. The “Fighting & Suffering” exhibition will be unveiled in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings on Friday 13th September at 2pm by the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Belfast, Mr Paweł Majewski.