From our 'War Picture of the Week' Archive
Mata Hari is known as one the most beautiful spies in history. The name is derived from the Malayan mata (eye) and hari (dawn); she is thus the Eye of the Dawn.
Her real name was Greta Zelle. She was Dutch, born in 1876 in the city of Leeuwarden in the Netherlands (Holland). Her father sold hats and caps. She became a famous erotic dancer and often danced half or completely nude.
Ms. Zelle slipped into countless French and German beds, and became a pawn in international intrigue. In 1917 she was arrested in France. She was convicted as a spy and executed on October 15th.
Mystery. In spite of the enormous research that has been done, historians have never clarified the exact nature of Mata Hari's spying activities. We have to wait until 2017, when French secret archives on her will open.
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