I’m going to tell you something about Mata Hari. She was round the time of the first world war an exotic dancer. She became such a legend because she was the first woman who danced totally naked, and because she was condemned to death for spying. This is the story about her life.
Her real name is Margaret Gertrude Zelle. She was born on the 7. of August 1876 in Leeuwarden. Her father has a hat-shop in Leeuwarden. When her mother dies and her father gets bankrupt Margaret goes to live in Sneek, and later she goes to study for a teacher in Leiden. From that school she is sent away because she had an affair with the head-teacher when she is 15 years old.
Now she goes to family in The Hague. In this town, a lot of officers of the Royal Netherlands Indian Army are there for a leave.
in this time she finds out that she easily can let men fall in love with her. When she is 19 years old, she marries Rudolph macLeod , a Dutch officer with him she goes to Dutch India.
There they get 2 children, only the relation between Margaret and Rudolph is bad. After a several years they divorce.
Margaret goes in 1903 alone to Paris, there she become a painters-model but she isn’t successful. So she becomes a exotic naked dancer. During the time she lived in Java and Sumatra, she learned to dance like the local people.
Her dances are exotic and she wears oriental clothes and veils, she throws away one by one. In the end she’s almost naked. she calls herself first Lady macLeod and later Mata Hari, what means Eye of the day. She tells everybody she is an oriental woman from Java instead of a Frisian girl. A lot of people are impressed of her dances, even rich people and the papers. She become a very rich woman, and she starts several love affair, with officers and she goes to Vienna for a several years.
in the mean time other women do the same in and are also oriental dancers, but Mata Hari is the best, when she returns to Paris. She lives an extraordinary live and has a lot of male lovers.
Then the first World War starts in 1914. among her lovers are a lot of German officers. She becomes a spy for the German intelligence service. Back in Paris where she has French officers as lovers. Mata Hari becomes also a spy for the French intelligence service.
So now she is a double-agent, and she doesn’t realise that. Her naiveté and imagination made her extremely unsuitable for the role of double-agent. and she is soon distrust by all sides.
The police picks her up in Paris, and accuses her for being a double-agent, but she always denied. Until today her guilt isn’t proved. But on 25. of July 1917 she is condemned to death. On 15 October of that year an execution platoon shoots her.
Only a legend tells us she wasn’t dead but escaped, but the reality tells us, on 15 October her live really ended and the myth had began.
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