Mata Hari, rare photographs of the notorious WWI spy, 1905-1917

The ideal mother of the seductive female spy was Hari, a professional dancer and mistress who became a spy for France during World War I. Suspected of being a double agent, he was executed in 1917 on charges of spying for Germany.

She first came to Paris in 1905 and rose to prominence as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances. She soon began touring throughout Europe, telling the story of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priest who named her Mata Hari, which means "eye of the day" in Malay. .

In fact, Mata Hari was born in 1876 in a small town in North Holland, and her real name was Margaretha Geertruda Zelle. She gained her superficial knowledge of Indian and Javanese dances while living in Malaysia for many years with her ex-husband, a Scot in the Dutch colonial army.

Despite her authenticity, she packed dance halls and opera houses from Russia to France, mostly because her shows involved her slowly stripping naked.

Since most Europeans at the time were unfamiliar with the Dutch East Indies, Mata Hari was considered a foreigner, and it was believed that her claims were genuine.

An apparently excited French journalist wrote in a Paris newspaper that Mata Hari was "so feline, extremely feminine, lavishly sad, her body's thousand curves and movements trembling in a thousand rhythms".

A journalist in Vienna wrote after seeing one of his performances that Mata Hari was "thin and tall, with the flexible grace of a wild beast, and with blue-black hair" and that her face "makes a strange foreign impression.

Mata Hari's career declined after 1912. On 13 March 1915, he performed in the last show of his career. She started her career as a dancer relatively late and started gaining weight.

However, by this time she had become a successful prostitute, known more for her sensuality and sensuality rather than her beauty. He had links with high-ranking military officers, politicians and others in influential positions in many countries. After the outbreak of World War I, high-ranking military officers of various nationalities began to join the list of her lovers.

In February 1917, French authorities arrested him on espionage charges and imprisoned him in the Saint Lazare prison in Paris. In a military trial held in July, he was accused of revealing details of the Allies' new weapon, the tank, that resulted in the deaths of thousands of soldiers.

He was convicted and sentenced to death, and on 15 October he refused to be blindfolded and was shot dead by a firing squad in Vincennes. He reportedly gave a kiss to the firing squad before shooting him.

There is some evidence that Mata Hari acted as a German spy, and for some time as a double agent for the French, but the Germans had shunned her as an ineffective agent, speaking of the pillow. had produced a little intelligence of value.

Her military trial was replete with bias and circumstantial evidence, and it is possible that French authorities trampled her as "the greatest female spy of the century", as the French army was suffering heavy losses on the Western Front.

Mata Hari is often depicted as a femme fatale, dangerous, seductive woman who uses her sexuality to easily manipulate men, but she is, in fact, in the words of American historians Norman Pollmer and Thomas Allen. I was "naive and easily deceived". Victims of men rather than victims. His only real offense may have been an elaborate stage misadventure and a weakness for men in uniform.

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