Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mata Hari - Living an unending performance

Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" Zelle (7 August 1876 - 15 October 1917), better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy who was executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I.

 Mata Hari "drew every man's lustful admiration and every woman's envy"

 The critics enthused, "feline, trembling in a thousand rhythms, exotic yet deeply austere, slender and supple like a sacred serpent".

 Painfully self-conscious of her small bosom at a time when full-figured women were the ideal, she would not remove the breast cups she wore in her act before intimacy, telling lovers that her ex-husband bit her nipples off in a fit of brutality.

 The French arrested Margaretha on February 13 1917 and imprisoned her. She was convicted that summer of spying for an enemy nation and sentenced to death. On October 15 1917, Margaretha Geertruida Zelle faced the firing squad. She refused a blindfold and blew one last kiss to her killers. Mata Hari was killed by a bullet to the heart, and her body was donated to medical science.

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