Dancer, Lover, Spy - Mata Hari

Femme fatale? German spy? French spy? Mata Hari's origin story and her espionage during World War I are clouded by the legends surrounding her. With more recently declassified documents, historians have a better understanding of her role spying for the Germans. An intriguing video investigates how a clever woman used her skills as an exotic dancer to gather information. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the video to stimulate discussion of gender roles during World War I
  • Offer the biography to budding historians as research on women in World War I
Classroom Considerations

  • Video images include nude and semi-nude pictures and may not be suitable for all classrooms
  • Part of Who Did What in World War I? series
Pros

  • Engrossing narration situates Mata Hari's story into a larger social context
  • Engaging pictures invite learner interest in the biography
Cons

  • The biography does not evaluate Hari's effects on the war 
Common Core