Mata Hari

Mata Hari - Exotic Dancer, Birthday and Family

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Mata Hari Biography Stories 

Mata Hari's Personal Details

Mata Hari was a dancer, courtesan and a spy, who was executed in France on charges of espionage

InformationDetail
BirthdayAugust 7, 1876
Died onOctober 15, 1917
NationalityDutch
FamousDancers, Spies, Exotic Dancer
SpousesRudolf John MacLeod (m. 1895–1907)
Known asMargaretha Geertruida
ChildrensLouise Jeanne, Norman-John
Cause of death
  • Execution
Birth PlaceLeeuwarden, Netherlands
GenderFemale
FatherAdam Zelle
MotherAntje van der Meulen
Sun SignLeo
Born inLeeuwarden, Netherlands
Famous asDutch exotic dancer
Died at Age41

Mata Hari's photo

Who is Mata Hari?

Margaretha Zelle or Mata Hari is known to the world as a courtesan and a double-agent who was executed by the French during World War I. However, her trials and convictions have been the subject of speculations even nine decades after her death. A lot of researchers believed that there was not enough evidence to prove the espionage charge and that she was wrongly convicted. There are numerous books written on her and several movies have been made to commemorate this spectacular woman, for whom her emancipation meant everything. In the male dominated society of her time, she chose a path without any confines or restrictions. She was least ashamed of what she did as she believed that god has gifted her with a flawless beauty and it is not a crime to flaunt it. She was a feminist in her own right who pursued her dreams and lived on her own terms. We all know her as a dancer and courtesan, but before that she was a wife and a mother who led a disastrous family life for nine long years until fate took her to Paris where her beauty and exquisiteness was well-received.

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Childhood & Early Life

Born as Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, Mata Hari was the eldest child of Adam Zelle and his first wife Antje van der Meulen.

Her father divorced her mother in 1889. Her mother passed away in 1891 and on February 9, 1893 her father got married to Susanna Catharina ten Hoove.

She was sent to live with her godfather in Sneek, where she was trained to become a kindergarten teacher, but later went to live with her uncle in The Hague.

Career

After a disastrous marital life in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia), she moved to Paris in 1903. She became a friend of a French diplomat, who told her to pick dancing for a livelihood.

With her exotic oriental looks, she started her dancing career in a salon. Her stay in Indonesia had helped her perfect the style of an oriental dancer and seductress and she was not shy of exposing her body.

She posed for artists, scantily-clad, while her sensuous dance moves captivated the audiences. Soon, she started gaining popularity and became friends with high-ranking men of her time.

However, by 1910 her career in dancing began to decline as young dancers began to surface and replace her. In order to maintain her lifestyle she turned into a courtesan and for a long time she depended on this profession as a source of her income.

During World War I, at the age of forty, she used to frequently travel between France and the Netherlands. She would usually travel through Britain and Spain and her journeys aroused a lot of suspicion.

Soon, she was tagged as a German spy and even a double-agent working both for Germany and France. By now, her infamy as a spy grew and the French, who believed she was a German secret agent, arrested her on February 13, 1917 at Hotel Elysee Palace.

She was found guilty of espionage on July 24 and on October 15, 1917, at the age of 41, after several trials, she was executed by the firing squad.

Personal Life & Legacy

She married Dutch Colonial Army Captain Rudolf MacLeod on July 11, 1895, at the age of 19 – her husband was 21 years older to her. She moved to Indonesia with her husband where she gave birth to two children, Norman-John MacLeod and Louise Jeanne MacLeod.

Not long after their marriage, problems began to surface owing to MacLeod’s alcoholism and abusive nature. He also had a relationship with a concubine, common in those days in Indonesia. Distraught by her husband’s infidelity, she left his side and temporarily moved-in with a Dutch officer Van Rheedes.

MacLeod requested her to come back but she found that her husband had not changed. In 1899, both of her children fell seriously ill as they had contracted syphilis. Her son Norman could not survive and passed away, but her daughter survived. In 1907, the couple got divorced.

Even long after her death, many people are keenly interested in knowing about Mata Hari’s life and especially her execution as there is still a lot of mystery and speculations involving her job as a spy.

A number of films have been made on her life, a good number of books have been written and many songs have also been composed in her name.

The Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, has a room dedicated to Mata Hari where her scrapbooks have been kept along with an embroidered carpet which has the footsteps of her fan dance.

Trivia

This Dutch dancer, courtesan and spy, who was executed during World War I, adopted a name which means ‘eye of the day’ in Indonesian.

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Mata Hari biography timelines

  • // 7th Aug 1876
    Born as Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, Mata Hari was the eldest child of Adam Zelle and his first wife Antje van der Meulen.
  • // 1889 To 1893
    Her father divorced her mother in 1889. Her mother passed away in 1891 and on February 9, 1893 her father got married to Susanna Catharina ten Hoove.
  • // 11th Jul 1895
    She married Dutch Colonial Army Captain Rudolf MacLeod on July 11, 1895, at the age of 19 – her husband was 21 years older to her. She moved to Indonesia with her husband where she gave birth to two children, Norman-John MacLeod and Louise Jeanne MacLeod.
  • // 1899 To 1907
    MacLeod requested her to come back but she found that her husband had not changed. In 1899, both of her children fell seriously ill as they had contracted syphilis. Her son Norman could not survive and passed away, but her daughter survived. In 1907, the couple got divorced.
  • // 1903
    After a disastrous marital life in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia), she moved to Paris in 1903. She became a friend of a French diplomat, who told her to pick dancing for a livelihood.
  • // 1910
    However, by 1910 her career in dancing began to decline as young dancers began to surface and replace her. In order to maintain her lifestyle she turned into a courtesan and for a long time she depended on this profession as a source of her income.
  • // 13th Feb 1917
    Soon, she was tagged as a German spy and even a double-agent working both for Germany and France. By now, her infamy as a spy grew and the French, who believed she was a German secret agent, arrested her on February 13, 1917 at Hotel Elysee Palace.
  • // 24th Jul 1917 To 15th Oct 1917
    She was found guilty of espionage on July 24 and on October 15, 1917, at the age of 41, after several trials, she was executed by the firing squad.

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Mata Hari's FAQ

  • What is Mata Hari birthday?

    Mata Hari was born at 1876-08-07

  • When was Mata Hari died?

    Mata Hari was died at 1917-10-15

  • Where was Mata Hari died?

    Mata Hari was died in Vincennes

  • Which age was Mata Hari died?

    Mata Hari was died at age 41

  • Where is Mata Hari's birth place?

    Mata Hari was born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands

  • What is Mata Hari nationalities?

    Mata Hari's nationalities is Dutch

  • Who is Mata Hari spouses?

    Mata Hari's spouses is Rudolf John MacLeod (m. 1895–1907)

  • Who is Mata Hari childrens?

    Mata Hari's childrens is Louise Jeanne, Norman-John

  • What is Mata Hari's cause of dead?

    Mata Hari dead because of Execution

  • Who is Mata Hari's father?

    Mata Hari's father is Adam Zelle

  • Who is Mata Hari's mother?

    Mata Hari's mother is Antje van der Meulen

  • What is Mata Hari's sun sign?

    Mata Hari is Leo

  • How famous is Mata Hari?

    Mata Hari is famouse as Dutch exotic dancer