The Enigma of Mata Hari

Undoubtedly it is a character who has many mysteries and secrets to his credit, most of them have gone to the grave with this woman, who for some was a covert spy and for others, a simple prostitute.

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Undoubtedly it is a character who has many mysteries and secrets to his credit, most of them have gone to the grave with this woman, who for some was a covert spy and for others, a simple prostitute.

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was the real name and was born in the Netherlands in 1876. She was a famous actress and dancer of her time. Her stage name “Mata Hari” means in Malay language “day eye”. He married at age 18 with a military man much older than she whom he only knew by correspondence. He had two children, the man died poisoned by the servants of the house. This caused her husband to be away from the house a lot and was always drunk.

At that time, Margaretha became interested in Javanese culture and Eastern techniques for love. This would later give her her reputation as a luxury courtesan. When separated he lost custody of his daughter due to his libertine life and decided to live in Paris. That’s where he posed as a Javanese dancer and offered streptease shows. It is also said that she had secret romances with many soldiers, politicians and men of the Parisian high society.

The one that told wonderful stories and danced “like the gods”

These could be two of your abilities. The fans who frequented the clubs where she danced almost naked believed in her stories of India and the East. His imagination had no limits. It was true that he had been in Java for a while, where he had learned to dance, but not that she had been born in the lands of the Taj Mahal and the Ganges River. Upon returning from that journey, with 26 years and separated, was that she decided to change his name by which we know it to this day: “Mata Hari”.

She came onstage with veils of gauze and his shining hair that moved to the sound of the music as well as her hips, which swung like snakes. All the money he earned was spent on jewelry and clothes. His dressing room was filled with gifts from his admirers. So it was more than a decade before the First World War broke out.

She was in Berlin at the time, performing in a nightclub. A little later he traveled to Holland (neutral) and in 1912 he returned to Paris. He had left a “path” of lovers for all European countries and in Germany many of them belonged to the army or the police.

One of the mysteries of Mata Hari is if this woman really had a fetish or a desire for men in uniform if she rubbed elbows with them to get information after a few glasses of alcohol and between the sheets.

Mata Hari, spy?

The French thought that everyone was a suspect in this crime. Keeping in mind that Mata Hari was always surrounded by soldiers, they began to think that it was someone hired by the espionage services. That is why they decided to watch it night and day. They wanted to know if he had become a henchman of the Germans and they even dared to ask him why he was not spying for France.

You probably trust this secret to a German General in a night of lust in a hotel or after a show. That was the mistake that cost her her life, neither more nor less. Is that the Germans did not want to have problems because of a woman, who also had ceased to be the most beautiful as in their best times and that according to some words “had the brain of a nut.”

It was at that time that they decided to do something to kill Mata Hari, before she continued to “scatter” information of all kinds to the enemies after falling in love with the most distinguished officers. And to add more to the figure of this dancer, the French managed to decipher one of their secret codes from a station installed in the Eiffel Tower.

The message said that H.21 would arrive in Paris on December 29, 1916 and receive 5,000 francs for his work. She arrived in the capital of France a few days later and went to the bank, there she was waiting for the money and an arrest warrant at that moment.

She thought it was a joke, because she was a naive woman (on the contrary of what she looked like in her shows). She did not care if she was accused of being a wasteful woman, a prostitute or a fickle woman, but a spy was too much anymore. A little over a year after this episode, she was taken to Fort de Vincennes where she was shot.

The questions that continue to resonate are: If Mata Hari was a cunning spy who infiltrated the Germans, the English and the French or was nothing more than a dancer with little sense of reason. Why, if she was an espionage professional, did she make such a silly mistake in telling one of her lovers?

Undoubtedly, a woman who aroused passions, loves and hatred among the military and police of the time and that revolutionized, in her own way, history.


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