Shake it Out

"I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues strong
It's always darkest before the dawn"

Born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, as Margraetha Geertruida Zelle, the  woman known to history as Mata Hari began life in quite ordinary  circumstances.  her father, a hatter, was a wealthy businessman, and she  prepared for a career as a teacher.
Margaretha moved to Paris in 1903 and began to support herself as an  exotic dancer. First she used the name Lady Macleod, then changed it to  Mata Hari, Malay for “Eye of the Dawn” or “Eye of the Day.”  Linking her  dancing to Hindu religion, she danced in a museum of Asian art that  resembled a temple.
By 1905 or 1907, she seems to have been passing information to the  Germans. During World War I, Mata Hari traveled as a dancer between The  Hague and Paris.  In occupied Belgium, she may have used her contacts to  pick up secrets and pass them along to the French. They became suspicious and arrested Mata Hari on February 13, 1917, on charges of spying.
The French tried Mata Hari in a military court and sentenced her to  die by firing squad.  She was executed five months after her arrest.
Today, it is widely believed that the French allegations were considerably exaggerated.
By Jone Johnson Lewis, Guide
  • 23 October 2011
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