British PM Apologizes to Gay WWII Codebreaker

Gordon Brown slams 'horrifying' treatment of late mathematician Alan Turing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2009 3:20 AM CDT
British PM Apologizes to Gay WWII Codebreaker
A stature of Alan Turing at Bletchley Park museum.   (©Loz Flowers)

(Newser) – Gordon Brown has issued a posthumous apology to WWII codebreaking genius Alan Turing, the Guardian reports. Turing's work cracking German codes helped the Allies win the war, but he was later prosecuted for having a gay relationship. He was chemically castrated after being forced to choose between that or prison, and committed suicide in 1951. His "unique contribution helped  turn the tide of war," making it "all the more horrifying that he was treated so inhumanely," Brown writes in an open letter of apology to the dead man.

Brown describes Turing as a "quite brilliant mathematician" and hails his contribution to "Britain’s fight against the darkness" of dictatorship. "I'm am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better," Brown writes. The prime minister acted after a petition started by a computer scientist seeking an apology for Turing gathered tens of thousands of signatures.
(Read more Alan Turing stories.)

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