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HomeVideoElizebeth Friedman | The Codebreaker | American Experience | PBS

Elizebeth Friedman | The Codebreaker | American Experience | PBS


Elizebeth Smith Friedman was an American codebreaker from Indiana. During Prohibition, her decrypts and testimony brought down international drug rings and liquor smugglers. Friedman’s codebreaking in WWII enabled the US to win the “Battle of the Atlantic” and smash Nazi spy rings.

Learn more about THE CODEBREAKER, including where to watch the documentary: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/codebreaker/

Based on the book “The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies,” “The Codebreaker” reveals the fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the groundbreaking cryptanalyst whose painstaking work to decode thousands of messages for the U.S. government would send infamous gangsters to prison in the 1920s and bring down a massive, near-invisible Nazi spy ring in WWII. Her remarkable contributions would come to light decades after her death, when secret government files were unsealed. But together with her husband, the legendary cryptologist William Friedman, Elizebeth helped develop the methods that led to the creation of the powerful new science of cryptology and laid the foundation for modern codebreaking today.