Post by Velòhaven on Nov 17, 2021 6:22:38 GMT
Mata Hari: sinner or spy?
Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod better known by the stage name Mata Hari was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany. Many believe she was innocent, being used as a scapegoat by the battle weary French. Her claims in regard to her personal life were a fiction, but normal for entertainers.
Mata Hari had relationships with high ranking officers. She was a French asset in that money was offered for her to spy on the Germans. She was arrested in the UK but released when she admitted being a French agent.
In late 1916, Zelle (Mata Hari) travelled to Madrid, where she met with the German military attaché Major Arnold Kalle and asked if he could arrange a meeting with the Crown Prince. During this period, she apparently offered to share French secrets with Germany in exchange for money, though whether this was because of greed or an attempt to set up a meeting with Crown Prince Wilhelm remains unclear.
In January 1917, Major Kalle transmitted radio messages to Berlin describing the helpful activities of a German spy code-named H-21, whose biography so closely matched Mata Hari, that it was patently obvious that Agent H-21 could only be Mata Hari. The code that was used was an old code that was known by the Germans to be compromised.
Mata Hari was arrested in a luxury Paris hotel in February 1917, and her closed-door trial took place five months later. Though the prosecution blamed her for the deaths of 50,000 French soldiers, no specific evidence or explanation was provided as to how she caused these fatalities. After a trial she was shot.
Mata Hari was exculpated by the German government in 1930; but there is still a mystery as to her innocence or guilt.