Adams County Arts Council – Supporting the arts in Adams County, PA

April 18, 2019

“Unsung Heroes and Heroines of the ENIGMA Machine”

The names, faces, and stories of some little-known men and women who made enormous contributions to the Allies’ ability to break the German ENIGMA cipher machine will be the subject of David Peters’ 3rdthursdaynoon program on April 18.  The hour-long noontime program is free and open to the public.

Historians estimate that the Allies’ reading of encrypted German military communications shortened World War II by as much as two years and saved up to 20 million lives. Some examples of how the intelligence derived from ENIGMA decrypts was used to the extreme disadvantage of Nazi Germany will be given. In addition, a second German cipher machine broken by British cryptographers and only recently declassified will be discussed.

David Peters received a B.S. degree in mathematics from Drexel University and an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Maryland. He was employed for 36 years as a Cryptologic Mathematician by the National Security Agency. He and his wife, Linda, currently volunteer at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve and at Cross Keys Village. They enjoy long walks in various Adams County locations with their dog.