15 th October 1917. Records of letters and proof about her life now released by law.
Come with me on this journey in the the life of a remarkable woman who for nearly 101 years has occupied the centre stage of history only as maneater, a sex machine and a spy even double agent indeed. I now try to tell the story as it really was. I say that for much proof did I uncover in researching this case. Her letters in fact have emerged just one week ago released by the years kept secret by the very Governments who used her as an escape goat for the massive loss of men on the battle front of the pointless first world war.
Margaretha Geertruda Zelle she was born and Christened on August 7th 1876. In the Dutch town of Leeuwarden , Holland. Her father a prosperous hat maker one Adam Zelle and his wife Antje Zelle. Later her father went bankrupt owing to bad advice on oil shares. Soon after he left for good leaving 3 children a girl and two boys and a wife to starve. He never returned. When Margaretha was 15 her mother died so the family had to be split up between various relatives. She never saw her dear brothers again.
Poor and sad she saw a lonely hearts advert in a local newspaper for a wife for an army officer serving out in Dutch East Indies. She was 19 and sent him her best photograph. They were married soon after and life in East Indies was far from worse. They had a boy and a girl and then her husband started drinking heavily in front of her. For 8 years she suffered beatings assault on her life with a butchery knife to her throat .The kitchen chair she was sat fell to the floor as he tried to cut her. As it hit the floor she picked her nimble self up and fled. He took the daughter but the servant poisoned the boy to death. We have no logical reason for this on record.
Now alone and no place to hide she was some 21 years younger that her husband Captain John Rudolf Mac Cloud.
She traveled to Paris and took up piano teaching. It did not pay too much and she eventually found herself in debt. So dancing was the way ahead .She was olive skinned and dark haired and attractive to men so being paid she loved the freedom and the job.
She soon found attention from a French diplomat and as much for protection she became his mistress. She had been in the hands of a weak father and fallen into the arms of a complete cad in that of her drunken husband. This man may be different she wrote. He was but war was near and he drifted to the war office. She alone again now went back to dancing.
It was now that her Temple dance she saw in East Indies came to the fore. Slowly it brought the public in to see her. Oriental items and effects had become so fashionable all over Europe by then and her dance fitted in nicely. Soon she appeared in La Scala in Milan . Next the Paris opera. All over Europe she was becoming famous. She attended garden parties and salons with her act. She was the toast of Paris then. Once appeared on a white horse showing her buttocks off which was loved by the men and not so with the wives. She never ever took her top off or displayed her private parts just the faint sensation that she would drove men wild. She had what we call now today sex appeal in buckets full but it lasted only as long as her body was young. Soon younger girls tried to emulate her and she found herself out in the cold yet again. She was Mata Hari ,the eye of the wind, the eye of today. In an age before it began to be known she had invented herself. As the expression is now.
Mata Hari had cash but then she met an English man through a French army connection. In short they wanted her to draw information from high German command by giving private dances. The MO5 todays MI5 organized her schedule but she went too far by boring a high ranking German with too many questions. He knew she was spying. He decided to hand her snippets of useless information on battle lay outs. It worked and she made sure her French contact received all as duty to France.
She was recalled as the French had guessed that Germans had know all about Mata Hari so the game went no place she was dismissed.
It was about now that she met the man who would take her by storm into the love affair of her life. He a Russian Captain called Valdimer de Masloff. It was 1916 and in the throws of love he was sent to the front lines into battle against Germany. Two weeks later he was returned to Paris hospital blind in one eye and shell shocked with many scars from war. Mata Hari was devastated and desperate to save him, found work just to keep her love at home and take care of him. She was determined to work and now found a lucrative assignment to spy for France. Georges Ladoux whom had no doubt seen her dance had set his sights at signing her up. She was informed to use her charm to seduce her way into German officers minds. Somehow that game was up before she even started may be owing to that fact she was a household name by then.
Her letters; hidden since 1917, tell now who she really was. She wrote “Dont think me bad, this so called man eater hated sex. I who danced at La Scala in Milan ,the opera in Paris. Private salons across Europe really hated sex.:”
Maybe her husband had finished her appetite for men. A great lump of evil drunkenness and heavy weight punch to keep her still. No fun in that just pain, brutal ugly pain. Night after night for years. How she must have hated men as animals after that. My thoughts are it was her husband who gave her syphilis and after that she could never want sex. So that breaks the myth that she a Coutezan.
She had invented the life of Mata Hari as escape from days of poverty and cruelty to survive. Her love the Russian, had gone and she was suicidal. Nothing now mattered save for that daughter she had lost and who had never left her mind from that day she had run for her very life.
Her pining for her daughter echo through her letters. Down on the floor trying to kill yourself it is hard beyond hope to get back on your feet. She did but so weak her life was over in her mind. 41 now she is having an early breakfast in the Paris Hotel as a guard appears in commotion, to arrest her.
From here she is dragged into a car and man handled in to the back seat. She is raced to appear in front of her prosecutor not knowing why. Captain Pierre Bonchardon a well trained French interrogator set his teeth into the case and cursed her from the offset as he had been told to do by Raymond Poincare the President of France. She was the scape goat to fix the 40,000 dead on the battle front as she was a spy for Germany proclaimed.
The British too lost as many and sent file proof to France to show Mata Hari was passing information to Germans in pillow talk. It was here that the sex story really began. It was all fabrication and head of M05 one Major General Sir Vernon George Waldergrave Kell had made sure that this woman would pay for the war losses made by him and so many other useless so called military planers. The war was being lost and some poor sod had to carry the can. She had sold out all our dead was the cry from power. If all had been sweetness and light they would have stuck a Victoria Cross on her as the woman who saved France.
So the British as much as the French demanded her death. The jury took less than 45 minutes to accuse her and find her guilt as charged. She had no chance of saying her peace. Hangmans jury made only by the loosing allies. If at that stage we had been successful in battering our way back to where we sat in charge on day one but told to move from by idiots in Generals uniforms. Hill 16 we had on day one the war began but into digging trenches was more important to the planer heads.
So it was that a woman had to carry all those idiots that lost a million men owing to stupidity in planing in 1916-17. i can not begin to imagine how she felt knowing she would be dead in a second as she gazed into the faces of so many young men with hate in their eyes.
She was lead out dressed as she had insisted in a blue dress, black over coat and French three corned hat. The picture of elegance as she walked easily to be tied to the pole ready for the riflemen to shoot. She bravely refused a blind fold and looked straight at her murderers. It is said she blew a kiss at them but I cannot find a single proof of this ,I was hoping to, I must admit, as it would have made this story better in our noble minds.
Two nuns and a church chaplain read to her last rites she drank coffee offered and smiled to the nuns to say go now. Up right she stood majestically gazing out into their eyes . No trace of regret or fear of beyond. They fired in unison all bullets hit her ripped right into her , she died instantly nobly and bravely. Forever Mata Hari.
I am glad to have told her story it is not as the many films that have been made tell but however it is true to what really brought her death aged 41. Though unlike the sad men who framed her we will never recall their names but all this world will know the name of Mata Hari. A real woman who lived as she died by the hand of evil men. I believe only true cowards hide the truth and blame the innocent as we are but here on earth for a minute at a time with no promise of tomorrow. I hope Mata Hari is in the light of God as she is as innocent as that of the falling snow.
Thank you for being with me on this case. One day soon all this world will read the truth of the case of Mata Hari reputation as now more records of that period in time appear we will see who is right from the dust of ages now after 100 years those who did this to her are beyond arresting for their crimes.
Yours faithfully Sir Kevin.
Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2018