Monday, November 7, 2011

More on the Dutch Girl

Hello, ola, 'allo, bonjour, and all that.

I wanted to mention that Mata Hari is not going to appear in this book I am working on now. It's already crowded, and deals with the next generation of victims. It's just that she is a recent, for me, example of innocent life lost to cover-up and national paranoia. She was held prisoner for months in filthy conditions kust to break her down and yet professed her innosence to the very end. They had only circumstantial proof, most of it based on falsified transmissions in a code both sides in the war knew had been broken, and other debatable sources and materials, and yet still they imprisoned her, interrogated her, tried her, convicted her, and executed her. It is sad, of course, but more than that: it is symbolic of what people with a great deal of power and a significant dose of righteousness can do to anyone they choose, and pretty much get away with it.

Part of the irony is that Mata Hari, born Margaretha Zelle, could not tell you where the troops were entrenched, even during the stagnant battle of Verdun, because she just didn't think about that stuff. And yet she was a spy?

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