Mata Hari

59

Mata Hari : biography

07 August 1876 – 15 October 1917

When Mata Hari returned from Spain to The Hague, she got a Holland passport on her real name and a visa to move in France. She got a refuse in a vise to go to England for some time, and that’s why she had to return to Paris through Spain. A strange incident happened on the border – French border guards at first refused to let Mata Hari pass, and she wrote a letter to Jules Cambon, but she even didn’t have time to send it, because on the next day she got to know that she could go. She should become alerted with such strange behaviour of authorities, but Mata Hari went to Paris without worries. She rented a luxurious apartment there and tried to go to his lover on the resort. But the resort was situated in the front forbidden zone, and Mata Hari addressed her requests to have a pass in the military office, which managed foreigners’ affairs. An interesting event happened in this office too – either by accident or on instructions of the German secret service Mata Hari met a chief of the French secret service. During the conversation he told her that on the British opinion Mata Hari was a German spy, but he didn’t believe in that and offered her to become a French spy. After consulting her friends form the French Minister of the Foreign Affairs she agreed. Incidentally, one of the workers in the ministry told her, that such work was very dangerous but nobody except Mata Hari could make it.

Mata Hari promised to get the plans of German headquarters about the closest attack and demanded million francs for this information. But in November of 1916 a steamer “Holland”, which was bound from Vigo to Paris, stopped in Falmouth, a British port, where the dancer was arrested – though, they confused her with a German spy Clara Bendix. Outraged Mata Hari told a chef of Scotland Yard, Thompson, that she acted on the instructions of the French secret service. After heated negotiations the chief of the French secret service told Thompson, that Mata Hari was the German agent and asked him to send her in Spain. Mata Hari didn’t suspect about all this peripety and resumed her contact with Kalle, demanding money. Kalle informed Cramer about a request of transferring money to the agent N-21 in Paris and ordered Mata Hari to devote her time to French officers in Madrid. On the next day Mata Hari met a French attaché, who was leading the secret service in the Spanish capital, and told him about the details of her English adventure and the results of her conversation with Kalle.

Meanwhile French deciphered the radiograms, which contained the information of Cramer and Kalle and the agent N-21. Mata Hari returned in Paris in January of 1917, and her French friends started to communicate with the dancer very reluctantly and evasively, literally weighing all words. A Russian officer Vadim Maslov, one of the dancer’s lovers, told her, that he was informed about the danger of communications with the spy in the Russian embassy.

She was arrested on the 13th of February in 1917, they brought an accusation if espionage and sent her to a prison in Saint-Lazare. Interrogations lasted for five months. On the 24th of July in 1917 a trial was started and it lasted only for two days – on the 25th of July the German spy was sentenced to death. An appeal for pardon was declined.

Mata Hari was executed by shooting on the 15th of October in 1917. winesses of her last hours claimed that she behaved very calmly and fearlessly. Historians haven’t made a common judgment about her activity – was it the result of cynicism, foolishness, immorality or, on the contrary, the top of acting art and well considered selfishness. Nevertheless, this woman became a legend even during her life, and her name became common. Probably, very ambitious Mata Hari would be flattered.