World War I spy Mata Hari was unfazed during her final prison interrogation before she died by firing squad, top secret files recently released by the British intelligence agency M15 reveal.
Mata Hari, the popular Dutch burlesque dancer born Margaretha Gertruda Zelle, shrugged off questions when confronted with a long list of her lovers, according to the report, cited by the Toronto Star.
“When faced with her acquaintances with officers of all ranks and all nations, she replied that she loved all officers, and would rather have as her lover a poor officer than a rich banker,” the MI5 files note, according to the paper.
The files released last month show Mata Hari was followed across France, Spain and England by officers from the Allied nations.
According to the Star, the officers noted that on Aug. 4, 1916, Hari wrote to a Don Diego de Leon and then met a Capt. Vladimir de Masloff, of the Russian Army, who was stationed in France.
“He was very intimate with her from this date and constant letters pass between, he was her favorite lover,” the MI5 files state, according to the Star.
An intelligence officer sounds impressed with Mata Hari’s attitude during her final days, the M15 files reportedly show.
“She never made a full confession nor can I find … that she ever gave away anyone as her (accomplice),” the report states.
“She was a ‘femme forte’ and she worked alone,” the report concludes.
On Oct. 15, 1917, in a field outside Paris, Mata Hari was accused of feeding Germany information that cost some 50,000 Allied troops their lives and put before a firing squad.
Stories of her execution state she refused to wear a blindfold and blew a kiss before being killed.