The Codebreaker honors Quaker girl who helped deliver down Nazi spy ring

Elizebeth Smith Friedman was a groundbreaking cryptanalyst who helped deliver down gangsters throughout Prohibition and break up a Nazi spy ring in South America in World Struggle II.

The 2016 movie Hidden Figures introduced the forgotten Black ladies who labored at NASA throughout the Apollo program into the nationwide highlight. Now PBS is doing the identical for Elizebeth Smith Friedman, a Quaker poet who helped pioneer the sphere of cryptography along with her husband, William Friedman, in a brand new documentary for the American Expertise collection. The Codebreaker relies on the 2017 e book The Lady Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies by San Francisco Chronicle journalist Jason Fagone. Per the official premise:

The Codebreaker reveals the fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the groundbreaking cryptanalyst whose painstaking work to decode 1000’s of messages for the U.S. authorities would ship notorious gangsters to jail within the 1920s and convey down an enormous, near-invisible Nazi spy ring in WWII. Her outstanding contributions would come to mild a long time after her dying, when secret authorities recordsdata have been unsealed. However collectively along with her husband, the legendary cryptologist William Friedman, Elizebeth helped develop the strategies that led to the creation of the highly effective new science of cryptology and laid the inspiration for contemporary codebreaking at present.

Director Chana Gazit advised Ars she was drawn to the story for quite a lot of causes, together with the truth that it has taken so lengthy for Elizebeth Smith Friedman’s important contributions to come back to mild. “If we missed Elizebeth, who contributed a lot within the first half of the 20th century to the security of this nation, who else are we lacking?” she stated. “It simply felt good to have the ability to painting an excellent girl with ambition, who wished a much bigger life, who was capable of overcome so many obstacles, but additionally had a rounded life that included the non-public in addition to the skilled.”

To study extra about this extraordinary girl, Ars sat down with Fagone, upon whose e book the documentary relies.

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