Mata Hari was a native of the Netherlands. She was a professional dancer who also worked as a spy for the French government during World War I. However she was suspected by the French, of being a double agent. She was arrested and tried for being a German spy and executed by firing squad.
Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in Leeuwarden, Netherlands on August 7th 1876. She studied at a teachers college in Leiden. She later married Dutch army Captain Rudolph MacLeod and the couple lived in Java and Sumatra until 1902. They returned to Europe and following their separation Margaretha began to dance professionally in Paris under the name Mata Hari.
Mata Hari began to work as a spy for France in 1917. She agreed to use her meetings with Germans to glean information for the French authorities. She was however suspected of passing information to the Germans. She was arrested for being a double agent and found guilty by a military court in July 1917.
Mata Hari, a professional dancer who worked as a spy during World War I, was executed by firing squad by the French Government in the year 1917 On This Day.