Mata Hari – A Real Sex Spy

By | Aug 7, 2008

The name Mata Hari is known as a female spy. The Real Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida “Grietje” Zelle on August 7, 1876 and was executed on October 15, 1917 after being sentenced on July 25 as a German spy.

Prior to World War One, Mata Hari was many things. She was the wife of a Dutch naval officer Rudolf John MacLeod and mother of two. She was an Adulter when she moved in with another Dutch officer when still married to MacLeod. The couple divorced in 1903 and she moved to Paris where she began life as a performer. She was an artist model, circus horse rider and beginning in 1905 an exotic dancer.

Whether she was actually a spy or a scapegoat may never be determined. Since Netherlands had stayed neutral she was able to cross borders freely. She was a courtesan to many high-ranking allied military officers during this time and had admitted to work as an agent for France intelligence. If true she would have been a Double Agent.

Her downfall began in January of 1917 when the French intercept a coded radio broadcast with information about an agent code-named H-21. Other information led them to Mata Hari as being that agent. Strangely the message was in a code that the Germans had already known to be broken so it’s possible that she may have been set up for the fall by the Germans. Her only crime may have been her sleeping with married military officers.

When she was executed by firing squad she was not bound nor wearing a blindfold. She had refused to wear one. She stood without motion as the 12 men raised their rifles, took aim at her chest and then fired.

She may have only been one of ten women and 300 men executed by the French for espionage, but she is the only one that is still remembered. it is a legend that may last forever.


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