Saturday, 6 August 2016

BETRAYAL IS ONLY A KISS AWAY - MATA HARI - A legendary beautiful seductress spy



BETRAYAL  IS ONLY A KISS AWAY – MATA HARI  -   A legendary beautiful seductress spy


                  
                                                   




















                                     


Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" MacLeod (née Zelle; 7 August 1876, Leeuwarden – 15 October 1917, Vincennes), better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch Exotic Dancer  and Courtesan who was convicted of being a spy and executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany  during World War-I.

Prior to World War I, she was generally viewed as an artist and a free-spirited bohemian, but as war approached, she began to be seen by some as a wanton and promiscuous woman, and perhaps a dangerous seductress.

"The Spy" - novel based on Mata Hari's life by the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho  will be released on Nov. 22, 2016.

Mata Hari is the focus of the New York Times bestselling historical fiction author Michelle Moran's new book, Mata Hari's Last Dance. The book released on July 19th, 2016.

























One of the most effective ways to compile information about an enemy (or potential enemy) is by infiltrating the enemy’s ranks. This is the job of a spy. Spies can bring back all sorts of information concerning the size and strength of an enemy army. They can also find dissidents within the enemy’s forces and influence them to defect. In times of crisis, spies can also be used to steal technology and to sabotage the enemy in various ways. For centuries women have served their allegiances with as much efficacy as their male counterparts in espionage.

Mata Hari ‘drew every man’s lustful admiration and every woman’s envy. A Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy who was executed by firing squad in France for espionage for Germany during World War I. Her popular acts toured other European cities, where she became the courtesan of powerful men in government and the military. Her relationships and liaisons with powerful men frequently took her across international borders. When World War I broke out, the French suspected her of spying for the Germans, even though she was also likely doing so for the French. In January 1917, the German military attaché in Madrid transmitted radio messages to Berlin describing the helpful activities of a German spy, code-named H-21. French intelligence agents intercepted the messages and, from the information they contained, identified H-21 as Mata Hari. Unusually, the messages were in a code that German intelligence knew had already been broken by the French, leaving some historians to suspect that the messages were contrived. She was subsequently tried for espionage and found guilty. She was executed by Firing Squad on the 15th of September, 1917 at the age of 41.

In 1903, Zelle moved to Paris where she performed as a circus horse rider using the name Lady MacLeod, much to the disapproval of the Dutch MacLeods. Struggling to earn a living, she also posed as an artist's model.

Promiscuous, flirtatious, and openly flaunting her body, Mata Hari captivated her audiences and was an overnight success from the debut of her act at the Musee Guimet on 13 March 1905.  She became the long-time mistress of the millionaire Lyon industrialist Emilee Etienne Guimet, who had founded the Musée. She posed as a Javanese princess of priestly Hindu birth, pretending to have been immersed in the art of sacred Indian dance since childhood. She was photographed numerous times during this period, nude or nearly so. The most celebrated segment of her act was her progressive shedding of clothing until she wore just a jeweled bra and some ornaments upon her arms and head. She was seldom seen without a bra as she was self-conscious about being small-breasted.






Museum
Scrapbook of Mata Hari in the Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands















                                                            Statue of Mata Hari in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands










The Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, contains a "Mata Hari Room". Included in the exhibit are two of her personal scrapbooks and an oriental rug embroidered with the footsteps of her fan dance. Located in Mata Hari's native town, the museum is well known for research into the life and career of Leeuwarden's world-famous citizen.



























Mata Hari    -  




Double Agent -
Mata Hari was a professional dancer and mistress who accepted an assignment to spy for France in 1916. Hired by army captain Georges Ladoux, agreeing to pass military information gleaned from her conquests to the French government. Not long after, however, Mata Hari was accused of being a German spy. She was executed by firing squad on October 15, 1917, after French authorities learned of her alleged double agency.





Brief Biography -
Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, on August 7, 1876, to father Adam Zelle, a hat merchant who went bankrupt due to bad investments, and mother Antje Zelle, who fell ill and died when Mata Hari was 15 years old. Following her mother's death, Mata Hari and her three brothers were split up and sent to live with various relatives.

At an early age, Mata Hari decided that sexuality was her ticket in life. In the mid-1890s, she boldly answered a newspaper ad seeking a bride for Rudolf MacLeod, a bald, mustachioed military captain based in the Dutch East Indies. She sent a striking photo of herself, raven-haired and olive-skinned, to entice him. Despite a 21-year age difference, they wed on July 11, 1895, when Mata Hari was just shy of 19. During their rocky, nine-year marriage—marred by MacLeod's heavy drinking and frequent rages over the attention his wife garnered from other officers—Mata Hari gave birth to two children, a daughter and a son. The couple’s son died in 1899 after a household worker in the Indies poisoned him for reasons that remain a mystery till date.

By the early 1900s, Mata Hari's marriage had deteriorated. Her husband fled with their daughter, and Mata Hari moved to Paris. There, she became the mistress of a French diplomat who helped her hatch the idea of supporting herself as a dancer.

In 1903, Zelle moved to Paris where she performed as a circus horse rider using the name Lady MacLeod, much to the disapproval of the Dutch MacLeods. Struggling to earn a living, she also posed as an artist's model.

All things "Oriental" were the fad in the Paris of 1905. The time seemed ripe for Mata Hari's exotic looks and the "temple dance" she created by drawing on cultural and religious symbolism and that she had picked up in the Indies with characteristic confidence, she seized the moment. She billed herself as a Hindu artist, draped in veils—which she artfully dropped from her body. In one memorable garden performance, Mata Hari appeared nearly naked on a white horse. Although she daringly bared her buttocks—then considered the most titillating part of the anatomy—she was modest about her breasts, generally keeping them covered with brassiere-styled beads. Completing her dramatic transformation from military wife to siren of the East, she coined her stage name, "Mata Hari," which means "eye of the day" in Indonesian dialect.

Mata Hari took the Paris saloons by storm and then moved on to the bright lights of other cities. Along the way, she helped turn the striptease into an art form and captivated critics. A reporter in Vienna described Mata Hari as "slender and tall with the flexible grace of a wild animal, and with blue-black hair." Her face, he wrote, "makes a strange foreign impression." Another enthralled newspaper writer called her "so feline, extremely feminine, majestically tragic, the thousand curves and movements of her body trembling in a thousand rhythms."

Within a few years, however, Mata Hari's cachet had faded. As younger dancers took the stage, her bookings became sporadic. She supplemented her income by seducing government and military men; sex became strictly a financial practicality for her. Despite the growing tension in Europe in the years leading up to World War I, Mata Hari foolishly knew no borders with her lovers, who included German officers. As war swept the continent, she had some freedom of movement as a citizen of neutral Holland and took full advantage of it, country-hopping with trunks of clothing in tow. Before long, however, Mata Hari's cavalier travels and liaisons attracted attention from British and French intelligence both of whom put her under surveillance.

Now nearing 40, plumpish and with her dancing days clearly behind her, Mata Hari fell in love with a 21-year-old Russian captain, Vladimir de Masloff, in 1916. During their courtship, Masloff was sent to the Front, where an injury left him blind in one eye. Determined to earn money to support him, Mata Hari accepted a lucrative assignment to spy for France from Georges Ladoux, an army captain who assumed her courtesan contacts would be of use to French intelligence.





Mata Hari later insisted that she planned to use her connections to seduce her way into the German high command, get secrets and hand them over to the French—but she never got that far.  She met a German attaché and began tossing him bits of gossip, hoping to get some valuable information in return. Instead, she got named as a German spy in communiqués he sent to Berlin—which were promptly intercepted by the French. Some historians believe that the Germans suspected Mata Hari was a French spy and subsequently set her up, deliberately sending a message falsely labeling her as a German spy—which they knew would be easily decoded by the French. Others, of course, believe that she was in fact a German double agent. In any case, the French authorities arrested Mata Hari for espionage in Paris on February 13, 1917. They threw her in a rat-infested cell at the Prison Saint-Lazare, where she was allowed to see only her elderly lawyer—who happened to be a former lover.

During lengthy interrogations by Captain Pierre Bouchardon, a military prosecutor, Mata Hari—who had long lived a fabricated life, embellishing both rearing and resume—bungled and facts about her whereabouts and activities. Eventually, she dropped a bombshell confession: A German diplomat had once paid her 20,000 francs to gather intelligence on her frequent trips to Paris. But she swore to investigators that she never actually fulfilled the bargain and always remained faithful to France. She told them she simply viewed the money as compensation for furs and luggage that had once disappeared on a departing train while German border guards hassled her. "A courtesan, I admit it. A spy, never!" she defiantly told her interrogators. "I have always lived for love and pleasure."

Mata Hari's trial came at a time when the Allies were failing to beat back German advances. Real or imagined spies were convenient scapegoats for explaining military losses, and Mata Hari's arrest was one of many. Her chief foil, Captain Georges Ladoux, made sure the evidence against her was constructed in the most damning way—by some accounts even tampering with it to implicate her more deeply.

So when Mata Hari admitted that a German officer paid her for sexual favors, prosecutors depicted it as espionage money. Additionally, currency she claimed was a regular stipend from a Dutch baron was portrayed in court as coming from German spymasters. That amorous Dutch baron, who could have shed light on the truth, was never called to testify. Nor was Mata Hari's maid, who acted as an intermediary for the baron's payments. Mata Hari's morals conspired against her, as well. "Without scruples, accustomed to make use of men, she is the type of woman who is born to be a spy," concluded Bouchardon, whose relentless interviews were the blueprint for the prosecution.

The military tribunal deliberated for less than 45 minutes before returning a guilty verdict. "It's impossible, it's impossible," Mata Hari exclaimed, upon hearing the decision.

Mata Hari was executed by firing squad on October 15, 1917. Dressed in a blue coat accented by a tri-corner hat, she had arrived at the Paris execution site with a minister and two nuns and, after bidding them farewell, walked briskly to the designated spot. She then turned to face the firing squad, waved away her blindfold and blew the soldiers a kiss. She was killed in an instant when their multiple gunshots exploded as one.

It was an improbable end for the exotic dancer and courtesan, whose name became a metaphor for the siren spy who coaxes secrets from her paramours. Her execution merited a scant four paragraphs inside The New York Times, which called her "a woman of great attractiveness and with a romantic history."

A news paper tit-bit about Mata Hari’s conviction -






Mystery continues to surround Mata Hari's life and alleged double agency, and her story has become a legend that still piques curiosity. Her life has spawned numerous biographies and cinematic portrayals, including, most famously, the 1931 film Mata Hari, starring Greta Garbo as the courtesan-dancer and Ramon Novarro as Lieutenant Alexis Rosanoff.

Marguerite Zelle or Mata Hari who flaunted her bodily charms to conquer the life’s adversities remains a legendary figure in the history of mankind.  The danseuse tantalized her way into the military ranks and was caught accepting money to part intelligence information and was alleged to be a double agent while trying to save her romantic hero, a Russian military captain, who was partially blinded while honoring his duties at the war front.

Mata Hari was allegedly a woman tiptoed into higher military ranks to seduce men of power to dance to her tune to part with invaluable secret which was shared to vested interests for monetary considerations. Mata Hari carelessly crossed European boundaries using her influence and was gunned down by the law enforcing French firing squad on the charges of being a German spy.






LET US LEARN ABOUT SOME SIMILAR BEAUTIFUL LADY SPIES IN THE WORLD HISTORY.  THE SPIES  LISTED HERE ARE THE  TOP 10  BEAUTIFUL  LADY SPIES  FROM THE HISTORY –

Mata Hari

 

2. Charlotte de Sauve






(c. 1551 – 30 September 1617)
A French noblewoman and a mistress of King Henry of Navarre, who later ruled as King Henry IV of France. She was a member of Queen Mother Catherine de’ Medici’s notorious Flying Squadron (Escadron Volant in French), a group of beautiful female spies and informants recruited to seduce important men at Court, and thereby extract information to pass on to the Queen Mother. Charlotte de Sauve has been credited as a source of the information that led to the execution of Marguerite de Valois’s lover Joseph Boniface de La Môle and Annibal de Coconnas for conspiracy in 1574. In 1575, Catherine de’ Medici, abetted by her son Henry III, instructed Charlotte to seduce the king’s brother, her youngest son, François, Duke of Alençon, with the aim of provoking hostility between the two young men, so that they would not conspire together in the future. Charlotte subsequently became the duke’s mistress, creating a rift between the former close friends, as Navarre and Alençon became rivals over Charlotte. According to Marguerite’s memoirs: “Charlotte de Sauve treated both of them [Navarre and Alençon] in such a way that they became extremely jealous of each other, to such a point that they forgot their ambitions, their duties and their plans and thought of nothing but chasing after this woman”.

 

3. Liu Hulan








(1932–1947)
She was a young, beautiful female spy during the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. She was born in Yunzhouxi village, in the Wenshui County of the Shanxi province. She joined the Communist Party in 1946 and soon after joined an association of women working in support of the Liberation Army. She was actively involved in organizing the villagers of Yunzhouxi in support of the Communist Party of China. Her contributions involved a wide range of activities, such as supplying food to the Eighth Liberation Army, relaying secret messages, and mending boots and uniforms. The life and death of Liu Hulan has become a symbol of the courage of the Chinese people, and is often cited as a homily of their loyalty to Communism. Her story is often told as homage to the struggles endured, and the sacrifices made, for the cause of liberating China from centuries of rule by foreign powers.



4. Violette Szabo






(26 June 1921 – c. 5 February 1945)
She was a Second World War British secret agent. She was born Violette Reine Elizabeth Bushell in Paris, France on 26 June 1921, the second child of a French mother and an English taxi-driver father, who had met during World War I. The family moved to London and she attended school in Brixton until the age of 14. At the start of the Second World War, she was working in the Bon Marché department store in Brixton on the perfume counter. Violette met Etienne Szabo, a French officer of Hungarian descent, at the Bastille Day parade in London in 1940. They married on 21 August 1940 after a whirlwind 42-day romance. Violette was 19, Etienne was 31. Shortly after the birth of their only child, Tania, Etienne died from chest wounds at the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. He had never seen his daughter. It was Etienne’s death that made Violette, having already joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1941, decide to offer her services to the British Special Operations Executive (SOE).

5. Anna Chapman







(Born 23 February 1982)
Anna Chapman, a beautiful 28-year-old Russian with an IQ of 162, having a diplomat father and a taste for the high life, is a Russian national, who while living in New York, United States was arrested along with nine others on 27 June 2010, on suspicion of working for the Illegals Program spy ring under the Russian Federation’s external intelligence agency, the SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki).Chapman pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General, and was deported back to Russia on 8 July 2010, as part of a prisoner swap.

6. Noor Inayat Khan

 


(1 January 1914, Moscow – 13 September 1944, Dachau concentration camp)
On September 13, 1944, a beautiful Indian princess lay dead on the floor at Dachau concentration camp. She had been brutally tortured by the Nazis then shot in the head. Her name was Noor Inayat Khan. The Germans knew her only as Nora Baker, a British spy. The first female radio operator to infiltrate occupied Paris, she was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre and the George Cross – one of only three women from the Special Operations Executive to receive the latter medal. But while Odette Hallowes and Violette Szabo have had Hollywood films made of their lives and blue plaques put up in their honor, Noor has been largely overlooked. The gentle Indian woman who sacrificed her life for Britain, has become a footnote in history. A memorial to her has long been overdue. And when a bust of Noor goes up in London’s Gordon Square in 2012, it will be the first statue to an Indian woman in Britain – and the first to any Muslim. Given the contribution of Asian women in this country to arts, music, literature, law, human rights and education, it is a gap that is crying out to be filled. Noor’s journey from her birthplace in Moscow to London was in many ways part of her exotic upbringing. A descendant of Tipu Sultan – the famous 18th century ruler of South India, known as the Tiger of Mysore – she was brought up a fierce nationalist by her father, Hazrat Inayat Khan, a Sufi preacher and musician. Noor was trained as a secret agent, given arms training, taught to shoot and kill, and finally flown to Paris under the code name of Madeleine, carrying only a false passport, a clutch of French francs and a pistol. Despite her spy network collapsing around her, Noor stayed in France for three months, until she was betrayed. What followed in October 1943 was arrest, imprisonment in chains, torture and interrogation. Noor bore it all. She revealed nothing to her captors, not even her real name. When the end came on September 13, 1944, it was not swift or painless. Defiant till the last, she shouted “Liberte” as she went down to a bullet fired at the back of her head.



7. Josephine Baker






(June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975)
She was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress. Nicknamed the “Bronze Venus”, the “Black Pearl”, and even the “Créole Goddess” in anglophone nations. Baker was the first African American female to star in a major motion picture and to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. She is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States (she was offered the unofficial leadership of the movement by Coretta Scott King in 1968 following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, but turned it down), for assisting the French Resistance during World War II and for being the first American-born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de guerre.

8. Margaret Kemble Gage







(1734-1824)
She was the wife of General Thomas Gage, who led the British Army during the American Revolutionary War, and is said to have spied against him out of sympathy for the Revolution. She was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and resided in East Brunswick Township. Historical texts, most notably Paul Revere’s Ride suggest that Mrs. Gage provided Joseph Warren with information regarding General Gage’s raid at Lexington and Concord. All of the circumstantial evidence shows that Dr. Warren’s informer was indeed Margaret Kemble Gage – a lady of divided loyalties to both her husband and her native land.  As a result, Gage was sent to England aboard the Charming Nancy on her husband’s orders in the summer of 1775.

9. Nancy Wake

 




(born 30 August 1912)
She served as a British agent during the later part of World War II. She became a leading figure in the maquis groups of the French Resistance and became one of the Allies’ most decorated servicewomen of the war. Born in Roseneath, Wellington, New Zealand, Wake’s family moved to Sydney, Australia in 1914. She was two years old at the time, and the youngest and most independent of six children. Later, her father left the family to return to New Zealand, leaving her mother to raise the children. Later, in 1939 she met wealthy French industrialist Henri Edmond Fiocca, whom she married on 30 November. She was living in Marseille, France when Germany invaded. After the fall of France, she became a courier for the French Resistance and later joined the escape network of Captain Ian Garrow. The Gestapo called her the “White Mouse”. By 1943, she was the Gestapo’s most-wanted person, with a 5 million-franc price on her head. From April 1944 to the complete liberation of France, her 7,000 maquisards fought 22,000 SS soldiers, causing 1,400 casualties, while taking only 100 themselves. Her French companions, especially Henri Tardivat, praised her fighting spirit; amply demonstrated when she killed an SS sentry with her bare hands to prevent him raising the alarm during a raid. After the war, she received the George Medal, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Médaille de la Résistance and thrice the Croix de Guerre. She was not awarded any Australian decorations. She also learned that the Gestapo had tortured her husband to death in 1943 for refusing to disclose her whereabouts. After the war she worked for the Intelligence Department at the British Air Ministry attached to embassies of Paris and Prague. After marrying John Forward in 1957 she returned to Australia.

10. Isabella Marie Boyd

 

 

 (May 9, 1844 – June 11, 1900)



Best known as Belle Boyd or Cleopatra of the Secession, was a Confederate spy in the American Civil War. She operated from her father’s hotel in Front Royal, Virginia and provided valuable information to Confederate general Stonewall Jackson in 1862. Belle Boyd’s espionage career began by chance. According to her 1866 account, on July 4, 1861, a band of Union army soldiers saw the Confederate flag hung outside her home. They tore it down and hung a Union flag in its place. This made her angry enough, but when one of them cursed at her mother, she was enraged. Belle pulled out a pistol and shot the man down.  She was fuming. A board of inquiry exonerated her, but sentries were posted around the house and officers kept close track of her activities. She profited from this enforced familiarity, charming at least one of the officers, Captain Daniel Keily, into revealing military secrets. “To him,” she wrote later, “I am indebted for some very remarkable effusions, some withered flowers, and a great deal of important information.” Belle conveyed those secrets to Confederate officers via her slave, Eliza Hopewell, who carried the messages in a hollowed-out watch case.

The End.


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