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.
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 confirm 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;
You can actually see behind the scenes footage of the execution scene being filmed online here;
Here is the scene in the film;
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