Member Profile | FocusFeatures.com
Beyond Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Other Moles, Double Agents and Traitors
Posted November 29, 2011 to photo album "Beyond Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Other Moles, Double Agents and Traitors"
In TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDER, SPY, no one is what they appear, especially with a suspected Soviet mole at the very center of the Circus. But turncoats, traitors, moles, double agents, and sleeper cells are nothing new in the world of espionage.
Mata Hari: A Woman of Mystery Unveiled
Mata Hari postcard
Born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in the Netherlands and raised in a middle-class family, the woman who would become Mata Hari hardly seemed destined for fame. After marrying a man she met through a newspaper advertisement, she moved to the Dutch East Indies where she learned the local customs. When she returned to Europe, she divorced her violent, alcoholic husband, took the name Mata Hari (which means “Eye of the Day” or “Sun,” in Indonesian), and quickly became a Succès de scandale through out Europe, performing in exotic, near-nude dances for the European in-crowd. Across the continent, powerful men – bankers, generals, diplomats of all nationalities –– became her private admirers. Even though she advertised herself as “a Java princess born of a Hindu priest,” she traveled under a Dutch passport, a fact that allowed her –– because the Netherlands were neutral –– to move freely thoughout Europe during World War I. However, her neutral status did not keep her from being suspected of spying. She was first detained by British, to whom she confessed (probably more for effect than for veracity) that she spied for the French. The next year, she was arrested by the French for being a German spy. The basis of the suspicion was an intercepted German radio broadcast that pointed to an unnamed spy working in Paris. Tried for being a spy and causing the death of 50,000 soldiers, she was convicted and executed by a firing squad on October 15, 1917 at the age of 41. To the end she denied the charges, writing, “My international connections are due of my work as a dancer, nothing else.” While later historical scholarship backs up her claims of innocence, her legend, especially after her dramatic death, quickly outstripped the truth, transforming her into a master spy and double agent, provocatively portrayed by Greta Garbo in the hit 1931 film MATA HARI.