Women Spies-Mata Hari

Topics: Mata Hari, Espionage, Courtesan Pages: 1 (323 words) Published: November 16, 2010
Women spies-Mata Hari

Mata Hari is one of the most recognized spies of WWI. Mata Hari was no ordinary spy. Mata was a women who used her sexual appeal and prostitute lifestyle to play the government and government officials during WWI. Mata Hari, was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle stage name, she began preforming as a promiscuous dancer when she moved to Paris. During the time of WWI Mata was a courtesan to many high ranking military officials. As a Dutch subject Mata was able to cross national boarders freely. She traveled between Spain and Britain to avoid live battles and this eventually led to suspicions. Mata was questioned many times. Once while being questioned by the British she admitted working as an agent for the French military. French officials would not confirm these accusations due to embarrassment and backlash it might have caused for their country. In January 1917 French intercepted a message Germany was sending to Berlin, concerning a special agent called H-21. They stated how this agent was particularly helpful. French intelligence agents intercepted the messages and, from the information they contained, identified H-21 as Mata Hari. On February 13, 1917 Mata Hari was arrested in her room at the Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris. She was put on trial, and was being accused of spying for Germany. It was believed that her as a double agent caused the deaths of at least 50,000 soldiers. She was found guilty and was executed by firing squad on 15 October, 1917, at the age of 41. Still some believe today that Mata Hari was never a double agent. Some say she was used as a scape goat by French counter espionage. The French spy that was believed to have recruited Mata was convicted of being a double spy himself. The case of Mata Hari still remains vague due to loss in evidence and the concealment of the official documents.
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