In the Enemy’s House is the story of an unlikely friendship between a high-spirited FBI agent and a genius code breaker. Working out of Arlington Hall, a former girls’ finishing school in Virginia that had been turned into a top secret decoding facility, the two men stumble to their surprise on Operation Enormoz – a covert KGB mission to steal America’s atomic secrets.
In the aftermath of this startling revelation, the two men begin their own mission to identify and later hunt down the Soviet spies working in America.
The photos that follow – the personal photographs of Meredith Gardner provided by the Gardner family - give a quick introduction to the life and work of the tenacious and talented code breaker whose revelations changed the course of history. And his work continues to resonate into the present day as Russian spies continue their secret war against America.
Blanche Hatfield, a Mount Holyoke Phi Beta Kappa grad and a code wrangler at Arlington Hall, introduced herself to fellow code breaker Meredith Gardner, with a flirty, “I thought you were just a legend!”And in German, to boot. It was pretty much love at first sight.
Meredith Gardner was a long, lanky, ascetic man, partial to a deliberately donnish attire. A man whose very thinness seemed to suggest that all the fun had been squeezed out of him.
Meredith and his daughter Ann on the boat to England. After the execution of the Rosenbergs, he felt a deep guilt that his puzzle-solving had culminated in their deaths. He went to work at Cheltenham, the British code-breaking facility, because he wanted to get away from America for a while.