Yet she is one of the most famous spies in history, largely because she was already famous as an entertainer before she entered the shadowy world of espionage. While her autobiography varied from time to time, the downtrodden and often impoverished Dutchwoman she had been was always absent from it.
Her mother had been a temple dancer who died while giving birth to Mata Hari. Her usual story was that she had been born in India of a Brahman family. Eventually she admitted too much: Some of his ancestors had immigrated to the Netherlands from Scotland, hence a name unusual for the Dutch.
He was her attorney, Edouard Clunet. Their motive may have been to lure France into killing on of its own agents or it may have been because she was truly a double agent operating for France after agreeing to spy for Germany and had been designated an expendable "fool-spy" by the Germans.
The prison had no baths so the only way she could clean herself was in a small bowl that was sometimes brought to her cell. Her Javanese mother Antje Zelle fell ill and died when the four children were still at school.
Thus, it is not that surprising that the military court ended up finding her guilty. The military files used against her were filled with information gaps, exaggerations and blatant lies. Ironically, the focus of disapproval was not the older male who made advances but the relatively powerless female who was the object of them.
However, their mutual love was as strong as ever if not stronger.
She studied the Indonesian traditions intensively for several months and joined a local dance company during that time. When he finally did, he refused to pay her, saying that her information was without value and that she would have to do much better to earn money from French intelligence.
Zelle admitted to Bouchardon that she had accepted 20, francs from a German diplomat in the Netherlands to spy on France, but insisted she only passed on to the Germans trivial information as her loyalty was entirely to her adopted nation, France.
Adam Zelle had a successful hat business in an era when virtually no man would be seen in public without a hat. She would someday recall that her father seemed to regard her as "an orchid among buttercups. She was getting to be a most discouraged lady.
Her children Louise Jeanne and Norman-John, with his father The marriage was an overall disappointment. She would tell them, "My dance is a sacred poem in which each movement is a word and whose every word is underlined by music. Her father gambled the income away on oil shares and ran away from home, permanently.
In her feverish illness, she sometimes hallucinated that she could see the gods and goddesses of Hinduism. She categorically denied being a double agent. Norman is dead because of you! It may seem unlikely to you but it is the truth.
She was also covered by a body stocking, one that was similar in color to her own skin but obscured her pubic hair. There was one visitor allowed to her who came to see Mata Hari almost daily.
An incriminating message regarding Hari was sent from Berlin and intercepted by the French secret service; the French claimed the Germans had planned that the message would be intercepted. He also openly kept a concubinea socially accepted practice in the Dutch East Indies at that time.
She told them, in one of his fits of brutality, her former husband had bitten off both of her nipples! She denied being a German spy. Together with other artists, they slapped a show together, gave it a general Hindu dance theme, and Mata Hari became a star.
Mata Hari was now officially divorced.Margaretha Zelle, a.k.a. “Mata Hari,” an exotic dancer and convicted spy, met her end at age 41 at the hands of a firing squad outside Paris years ago on Oct. 15, Mata Hari, legal name Margaretha Geertruida Zelle MacLeod (August 7, – October 15, ), was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan.
While in the custody of French officials, a French military court convicted her of spying for Germany. Julie Wheelwright's book is not a biography of Mata Hari, but an attempt to use her as the focus for an inquiry into the myth and reality of women's role in espionage.
And if that is not already cool enough, this will be: Allegedly, Mata Hari was a spy. Actually, she got shot for being a double agent. Mata Hari's background was the middle-class.
Her father, Adam Zelle, made a good living as a milliner (he made hats.) That is until his fortune went south. Her. Apr 18, · By the early s, Mata Hari's marriage had failed. Her husband divorced her and disappeared with their daughter, so Margaretha moved to Paris. There she became a professional dancer, teacher and translator, and when she was hungry, she became the mistress of.
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