NOT the real execution of Mata Hari

These pictures are shared all over the internet as being an authentic historical photo of the actual execution of famous Dutch spy Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod) in 1917.

They’re not.

When Mata Hari was shot, on the 15th of October 1917, no photos of the execution were taken, there is one photo online showing several high ranking military men supposedly observing the execution but I’ve not been able to figure out if this is true.

These pictures have been shared as being a genuine photo of the actual execution of the real Mata Hari for decades.
Even newspapers published it as such.

But they’re not.
The pictures are actually screenshots or set photos from films.

This picture from an 1920s movie.
Although some sources claim it is the film called ‘Die Spionin’, made by Ludwig Wolff in 1920, with actress Asta Nielsen as Mata Hari, it is more likely to be from ‘Die Tänzerin Navarro’, made in 1923.
There seems to be no trace of a film named after or about Mata Hari made by Wolff in the 1920s but he and Nielsen did make the Navarro film in 1923 with a story that includes a woman being suspected of espionage and a firing squad scene.
Sadly this film is lost.
Here you see an example of this picture being published in a newspaper;

The other pictures are from the film ‘Mata Hari, agent H21’, made in 1964 with actress Jeanne Moreau portraying Mata Hari.

You can actually see behind the scenes footage of the execution scene being filmed online here;

According to stock photo websites the last picture is from the 1985 film ‘Mata Hari’ with Sylvia Kristel in the main role.

Here is the scene in the film;

Disclaimer;
Picture(s) found online, used for (re-)educational purposes only.
I do not own the copyrights to these images, I only share them here for educational purposes to try and make sure the real story behind it becomes known and people will stop spreading false information

If the copyright owner objects to the sharing here, kindly contact me and I shall alter the article.
If you’re interested in using any of the images here get in touch with the copyright owners mentioned in the article.
Feel free to contact me with questions.


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