Mata Hari

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Mata Hari, exotic dancer and convicted spy, made her name synonymous with femme fatale during World War I.

Mata Hari was the stage name of Margaretha Geertruida (Grietje) Zelle (7 August 1876, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands – 15 October 1917, Vincennes, France).

She was a Dutch-Frisian exotic dancer and spy. She was executed by a firing squad of the French Army. French authorities thought she was a spy during World War I. Because she had relationships with both German and French officers, they thought she was a double agent (working for both sides). Her dossier (file) was released in 2017, a hundred years after her death.

Guilty[change | change source]

German documents unsealed in the 1970s proved that Mata Hari was truly a German agent. In the autumn of 1915, she entered German service.

On the orders of section III B-Chief Walter Nicolai, she was instructed about her duties by Major Roepell during a stay in Cologne. Her direct handler was Captain Hoffmann, who gave her the code name H-21.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Adams, Jefferson (2009). Historical dictionary of German Intelligence. Rowman&Littlefield. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-8108-5543-4.