During World War I there were few female spies but the most commonly and famously known ones were Marta Hari the alias of Margaretha Geertruida Zelle and Edith Cavell. Both women were on opposite ends of the spectrum, Marta Hari who used her charms and beautiful looks to attract men and obtain information for the Germans was an exotic dancer while Edith Cavell a nurse who was very motherly like, helped wounded Allied soldiers and gathered information from them. Sadly Marta Hari and Edith Cavell were both executed from opposing enemies, the French for Hari and the Germans for Cavell.
Of course they were important espionages for each of their accomplices, but one women avails over the another and in my opinion the English native Cavell trumps over . Margaretha dubbed herself Marta Hari to support herself through being an exotic dancer and claimed she was from India. She was not afraid to bear her goods to any man willing to watch, and every man wanted to. She supplied the Germans with information on their enemies the French, from 1907 and until her execution in 1917.
Mata Hari did not give as much back to the soldiers like helping them physically and emotionally. She simply just passed on the information and used the distressed war men. Edith Cavell on the other hand was a matronly nurse who helped and hid hundreds of Allied soldiers in various hospital grounds and safe houses in Belgium. Edith was caring and understanding woman who “never could tell a lie. ” She sacrificed so much and eventually her life to protect and serve her fellow men.
She believed that her acts of hiding and smuggling the men of the war were as philanthropic as caring for the wounded. She was willing to give up her position as a nurse if it meant that the men she worked with could go free and live on and Edith Cavell did just that. She willingly condemned herself for the actions that were charged against her and eventually was shot by German soldiers. Both women did extraordinary and helpful things for war men but Edith Cavell to me seemed like a brave and willing espionage who did everything she could in her power for the survival of others.