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British P.M. Brown Apologizes To 'Real War Hero' Alan Turing

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British P.M. Brown Apologizes To 'Real War Hero' Alan Turing

International

British P.M. Brown Apologizes To 'Real War Hero' Alan Turing

Fifty-five years after World War II code-breaker Alan Turing took his own life following a conviction for "gross indecency" — being gay at a time when that was illegal in Britain — he's gotten a full apology from his nation's government.

In a letter published by The Daily Telegraph, Prime Minister Gordon Brown writes that:

While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time, and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair, and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. ...

This recognition of Alan's status as one of Britain's most famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality, and long overdue. ...

But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind. ...

It is thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europe's history and not Europe's present. So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work, I am very proud to say: we're sorry. You deserved so much better.

Turing, a computer pioneer, helped create the machines that cracked Nazi messages — and helped turn the tide of the war.

NPR's Rob Gifford says more than 30,000 people signed a petition asking for the apology to Turing:

British P.M. Brown Apologizes To 'Real War Hero' Alan Turing

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