Mata Hari, who was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, was a Dutch dancer and courtesan who became famous in Europe in the early 20th century. During World War I, she was accused of spying for Germany by the French authorities and was subsequently executed on October 15, 1917.
Mata Hari’s case was based on circumstantial evidence, including her association with high-ranking military officials from different countries and her travels to neutral Spain, which was considered a hub for German espionage activities. However, her trial was widely criticized for its lack of evidence, unfairness, and political motivations.
Despite her insistence on her innocence, Mata Hari was found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad. Her execution was carried out at the Vincennes fortress outside Paris. Mata Hari’s case has since been re-examined, and some historians believe that she was used as a scapegoat to divert public attention from the French military’s failures during World War I. However, the exact reasons for her conviction and execution remain a subject of debate and controversy.