Enigma from the Other Side

The other side of the Enigma story is told in the brand new episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, out now. Featuring an exclusive interview with a German Enigma operator, made public here for the first time, it tells the story of pioneering technology, the fiendish challenge of understanding it and the importance of keeping it a secret – all from the German perspective.

Sharing her unique story as part of Bletchley Park’s Oral History Project, Irmgard Enge, later Copley, tells how she was part of a secret operation to make sure the Allies did not find out how badly German aeroplanes and munitions factories were being damaged by bombs. She also recalls friendly – and less friendly – French people living near the air base where she was posted.

Once the war had ended, Irmgard reluctantly agreed to go to a dance with her friend. She hadn’t wanted to go because there would be British soldiers there and she didn’t want to dance with the enemy. But her friend persuaded her and there she met her husband, an English soldier.

Also in this month’s episode, meet a man who grew up just beyond the boundary fence of Bletchley Park during World War Two. He joined a long queue in the rain to have treasures valued for the BBC antiques show, Flog It. The show’s host, Paul Martin, reveals which items he tries to persuade people to keep, going somewhat against the programme’s underlying principle.

Last but not least, change is afoot at the hugely successful 1940s Boutique. The day-long workshop and tutorial is opening its doors to customers who want a spot of pampering, without the DIY. As well as workshops on how to create the iconic looks of the 1940s and 1950s, the experts themselves will be styling customers’ hair and make-up; all in the tranquil surroundings of the Victorian mansion which became the site of some of WW2’s most secret work.