Simona AN‘s Today’s Memory
Mata Hari’s birthday
Originally shared by Simona AN
7 August 1876, Leeuwarden, Netherlands – 15 October 1917, Vincennes, Paris, France
Mata Hari, born Margaretha Geertruida Zeele, was a dancer and courtesan whose name has become a synonym for the seductive female spy.
in 1895, she married an officer, Capt. Rudolph MacLeod, in the Dutch colonial army, and from 1897 to 1902 they lived in Java and Sumatra. The couple returned to Europe but later separated, and she began to dance professionally in Paris in 1905 under the name of Lady MacLeod. She soon called herself Mata Hari, a Malay expression for the sun (literally, eye of the day ). Tall, extremely attractive, superficially acquainted with East Indian dances, and willing to appear virtually nude in public, Mata Hari was an instant success in Paris and other large cities. Throughout her life she had numerous lovers, many of them military officers.
She was shot by the French on charges of spying for Germany during World War I. The nature and extent of her espionage activities remain uncertain, and her guilt is widely contested.
The German government publicly exculpated her in 1930, and the French dossier documenting her activities reportedly indicated her innocence. Viewed by only a few people, the dossier was scheduled for public release in 2017.
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