Mata Hari was born August 7, 1876 in a small town in the Netherlands Levurdene.At birth, the girl received a beautiful but usual for hearing Scandinavian name - Margaret Gertrude Selle.Up to 15 years life Margaret was prosperous and serene.The second child in the family, only spoiled girl, she received the best education in the privileged schools and did not know anything of failure.Her father, a hatter Adam Selle, has made a number of successful investments in the oil business and do not skimp on the beloved daughter.But in 1889, Adam suddenly broke, depressed, and then abandoned t
he family, divorced and more participation in the life of Margaret tried.The girl's mother died two years later, and the child was in the care of his godfather.
girl was attached to the school, it was assumed that there she received the profession of a kindergarten teacher, but the director of the educational institution proved too controversial to Margaret interest scandal, and the family decided to send the young beauty in his uncle in The Hague.There, she meets a young officer Rudolf MacLeod, and in March 1895 to marry him.Newlyweds go to the post husband to Indonesia.After 7 years, MacLeod returned to Holland and divorce.Margaret is not only without male support, and without a penny in his pocket, and, even worse, she did not know how, she has no profession.A young woman decides to go to Paris.
In 1905, on the French stage goes exotic new "star".Her name is Mata Hari, she was the daughter of an Indian princess and a Scottish baron, she was raised in a sacred Indian temple and studied dance at the ancient priestesses, who gave her such an exotic name, which translated from Malay means "eye of the day".It is believed that this legend for the former Margaret came up with Mr Guimet, owner of the Asian Art Museum in Paris, got her first glimpse and struck the beauty and grace of a young woman.
Mata Hari performed in an exotic decor, decoration imitating an Indian temple, in the light of many candles.At the time it was shocking costume - breasts barely covered with precious stones, inlaid with cloth belt falls translucent fabric, bracelets richly decorated wrists and calves, and dark hair gleaming crown.As she danced, it does not matter in these outfits.Even when one of the journalists tried to criticize her away faulty technique, he still had to mention her scandalous costume and curious crowd brought down the shaft to the idea.Mata Hari was famous.She danced in private salons and a large stage.Her number is inserted into the ballet and opera program.She was invited on tour, and she traveled a lot.Among the many fans of the dancers, providing it with financial support in exchange for time spent in her company, a lot of officers from different countries.
During the First World War, it is this way of life with Maragaret McLeod played a bad joke.She travels a lot?It sees in the society of senior military officers?Who is she - a spy?In February 1917, the French authorities have arrested Mata Hari for spying and imprisoned Saint-Lazare in Paris.At a closed military court, held in July, she was accused of transmitting information about the new weapons (tanks) to the enemy and, consequently, in the deaths of thousands of soldiers.Margaret convicted and 15 October 1917 were shot on the outskirts of the French capital Vincennes.So died Margaret Gertrude McLeod, but the legend of the beautiful spy Mata Hari and continued to live after her death.The story and the fact that the dancer in front of a firing squad threw a coat and appeared naked, but it did not bother the valiant soldiers, and they still shot.What were her last words - "Courtesan - yes, spy - never!", Which is the young soldier fainted during this execution, and more.
Modern historians are more inclined to believe that the only fault of the femme fatale was too great love of men in uniform and, as a result, compromising relationship with someone from a high-ranking French military elite.