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Mata Hari was a Dutch dancer and courtesan in the late 1800s. Mata Hari is famous because she was accused of being a German spy during World War I. She was executed on suspicion of her spying. See the fact file below for more information on Mata Hari or download the comprehensive 11 page study pack which includes a number of worksheets suitable for the classroom or home environment.
- Mata Hari was born on 7 August 1876 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands.
- Her full name is Margaretha Geertruida Zelle but she was mostly known by her stage name, Mata Hari.
- Along with her three brothers, Mata Hari was raised by her rich father and had a lavish upbringing. In 1889 her father went bankrupt, her parents divorced and her fancy lifestyle began to fall apart.
- Mata Hari originally studied to become a kindergarten teacher.
- When she was 18 years old, Mata Hari answered an advert in the newspaper placed by Dutch Colonial Army Captain Rudolf MacLeod who was advertising for someone to be his wife.
- Mata Hari married the Captain in 1895 at the age of 19 and her lavish lifestyle returned once again.
- After moving to Java in Indonesia, Mata Hari had two children with Captain MacLeod (Norman-John and Louise Jeanne). Both of her children died from illness and the couple moved back to the Netherlands.
- Whilst in Indonesia, she joined a local dance company and adopted her stage name, Mata Hari. In the Malay language, Mata Hari means ‘sun’ or ‘eye of the day’.
- In 1903, Mata Hari moved to Paris to perform as a circus horse rider and pose as an artist’s model. She called herself ‘Lady MacLeod’.
- In 1905, Mata Hari turned towards exotic dancing and became an overnight success in Paris. She pretended to be a Javanese princess and captivated her audience with her slender body and flirtatious dancing.
- Mata Hari’s exotic dancing and modeling continued for many years. People loved her provocative style and she was regularly photographed in the nude and performed wearing very little clothing.
- Mata Hari and Captain MacLeod did not have a happy marriage eventually divorced in 1906. Captain MacLeord was an abusive husband and did not approve of Mata Hari’s exotic dancing lifestyle.
- Mata Hari performed her last exotic dance in March 1915, after which she became more famous and popular as a courtesan.
- During World War I (1914-1918), Mata Hari’s regularly travel between European countries placed her under suspicion. In 1916 she was arrested and questioned in London and admitted to being a French spy. It was unclear whether she was lying or telling the truth.
- In 1917, the German military referred to a German spy with the code-name ‘H-21’. French intelligence assumed this spy must have been Mata Hari and had her arrested. She was put in Saint-Lazare prison.
- On 24 July 1917, Mata Hari was put on trial for being a German spy and consequently causing the deaths of 500,000 soldiers. There was no definitive evidence to prove that she was a spy.
- Mata Hari admitted that she had received money from a German officer, but the money was for sexual favors, not for her to become a spy like the French intelligence had assumed. They did not believe her.
- Mata Hari was executed by French firing squad on 15 October 1917. She was 41 years old.
- After she had died, Mata Hari’s body was used for medical research.
Mata Hari Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Mata Hari worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about Mata Hari who became famous because she was accused of being a German spy during World War I. She was executed on suspicion of her spying.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Mata Hari Facts
- Modified TRUE or FALSE
- The Dancer, The Spy
- World War I Fast Facts
- Color the Sun
- Mata Hari Acrostics
- A Total Spy?
- Other Women at War
- People and Places
- Firing Squad
- A Memorial Song
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Link will appear as Mata Hari Facts, Biography & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 1, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.