Mata Hari’s story

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle known as Mata Hari

Was a well-known dancer, courtesan, and even Dutch spy. As with her brahminical and oriental dances she had great success in eruopa, during the First World War Germany used her as a spy until she was arrested by French state forces and found guilty of treason and espionage charges. For these acts she was sentenced to death and executed by firing squad on October 15, 1917 in the Vincennes fortress.

The name Mata Hari, comes from Malay and its meaning is “eye of the day” which would come to be the Sun in its culture.

From a humble family, his father was a hatter Adam Zelle and his mother was Antje Van Der Meulen. She was the oldest daughter of 4 brothers, all boys except her. Her parents were divorced and the mother died a few years after the divorce. Her father instead remarried.

Mata Hari stood out for his great beauty and went to live with his godfather at the early age of 16. She studied at a special school to train as a teacher but had an affair with one of the directors of the center and expelled. He had to go live with his uncle ever since.

It is said that he had Indonesian ancestry but many studies suggest that his ancestry was not really Asian, but that he was from Dutch parents.

In 1985 a military captain named Rudolf MacLeod published an advertisement requesting a wife and she volunteered. In July 1985, with her about to turn 19, they both married and moved to Java, the destination where they had sent the captain. They had two children, a boy and a woman. One of the sons was poisoned by revenge by one of the servants to Rudolf MacLeod.

The guilty husband took refuge in the drink and Mata Hari began to have his first contacts with the Javanese culture, perhaps looking for some way of distraction. It was when she started with oriental love dances and techniques, which were the ones that later made the dancer famous.

Later she returned to Europe as a luxury courtesan.