When espionage and sexual appeal intermix, Mata Hari comes to mind. Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida was a Dutch exotic dancer and a double spy during World War I. She was ultimately executed in France under charges of espionage for Germany. History
The earlier life of Mata Hari reflects on her transformation into a provocative spy. At an early age she began gaining fame as an exotic dancer in Paris of which she resided. She was considered a contemporary dancer in the early modern dance movement, where she was viewed as an artistic inspiration. Her success as a dancer was aided by her promiscuous ways of flaunting her sexuality. She also became a mistress of a millionaire and was involved with some politicians and military officers. She performed throughout Europe, however, she was severely criticized by many due to her provocative ways. She ultimately became a courtesan to many high ranking military officials as her career began to decline. Her Dutch origins allowed Mata to cross national borders freely. She traveled between Spain and Britain to avoid battles during WWI, yet eventually led to suspicions of her espionage work. 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 accused of espionage on behalf of Germany. Her role as a double agent has been believed to have caused at least 50,000 soldiers to die. Court has found her guilty as she was executed by firing squad on October 15, 1917 at the age of 41.
The case of Mata Hari remains vague as it has derived various different stories due to a lack of actual evidence. There has been conspiracies and stories that Mata Hari was simply a scapegoat by French counterespionage. Some researchers believe she was never a double spy rather a victim of manipulative setups of which the man who recruited her was the actual spy who used her as a cover.
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