Mata Hari Research Paper

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Why do we remember the name Mata Hari, but we do not know really who she was or what she did? According to Tammy M. Proctor, “Mata Hari captured the public imagination precisely because her invented self – a mysterious, ‘foreign,’ and erotic being – fit perfectly the sexualized myth of women spies constructed in the years before and during the war (82). Mata Hari was a normal women who tried by any mean to become an independent person, in a society where women were not yet equal to men, and she succeeded, even though in the end it was her fame who brought her death. Mata Hari, born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in 1876 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, is one of the best known women of the First World War (Proctor 83). Her life started with an extravagant childhood, her father, a Dutch hatter, being rich at that time. He offered her an early good education, studying to become a nursery school teacher. After her father ended…show more content…
As Proctor relates in her book, “Mata Hari became involved in a series of affairs with high-profile, older men including politicians and military officers” (84). Her mistake was that she did not break her connections with German officials after the relation between France and Germany deteriorated. Traveling to Germany and visiting German high-ranking officials put a target on her back. In her book Women Wartime Spies, Ann Kramer claims that “her lovers included a number of high-ranking German officials, including Griebel, chief of the Berlin police, Alfred Kiepert, a lieutenant in the German army, and Kroemer, the German consul in Amsterdam” (37). Without doubt she was exceptional at seducing men, one of her conquest being the crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Germany, as Coveney claims (par. 8). As the world was heading to an imminent war, the society had been going through some changes

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