|Case number two. In a pub in
Munich Lola started a fight and was slightly injured. The King, fearing that Lola would go
down for quite a long time, decided to take charge of the police investigations himself
(this had never been done before). There was no way however that Lola could get off
scot-free, so the sentence was one day under house arrest; the people she had beaten up on
the other hand were given a week in prison. Then the last straw - Lola was given a royal
pardon by the King, the sentence of her innocent sparring partners however was extended at
the king's orders.
Case number three. Near Munich cathedral Lola's dog attacked a toll-collector. Klenze wrote, 'Understandably he tried to defend himself by kicking the dog and at that very same moment he received a hefty clout from the delicate hand of Mademoiselle Lola.' The victim retaliated and within in no time at all a crowd had gathered screaming, 'Knock the bitch senseless!' The ever-vigilant gendarmes managed to rescue her and hide her in the house of a silversmith.
What did our love-struck Ludwig decide to do now then? Klenze - 'The poor, old, bitten and beaten toll-collector was arrested, and the King insisted he should be made an example of for not allowing himself to be quite calmly bitten and beaten up.' The diarist summarized these goings on by saying, 'And we still have the audacity to compare countries like Russia and Turkey to us and call them despotic countries!'
Klenze's list is full of other cases as well. Lola demanded jobs for Metzger, an architect she was close to. Furthermore she wanted to have the Sardinian ambassador and an English tourist deported from Munich, she interfered in the architecture of Munich's new railway station, she demanded the removal of diligent civil service clerks and the promotion of her flatterers. The King had to publicly rebuke one businessman because she did not want to pay his bills. In the end Klenze called her, 'a degenerate, venereal whore,' and maintained that 'the name Lola was synonymous with lies.'
In Bavaria people were horrified by the behavior of the King and his 'Duchess of Deception'. They were the talk of the day in all circles and in order to be able to talk about them freely names were invented for them - the King was referred to as Herr Meier and Mademoiselle Montez as Fräulein Steigenberger.The dispatches of the ambassadors to court were full of all kinds of innuendoes. A year after Lola's arrival Bernstorff wrote about the King, 'His lover has made his life so sour that he seems to be more deflated than elated. However he has sunken to such depths that it looks as if he will never again have the strength to pull himself together. The way things are going it looks as if he is going to sink deeper and deeper.
This was also Klenze's opinion. He noted that Ludwig, in the presence of his wife Theresie, suddenly blurted out, 'I would rather be cut up into tiny pieces and let my kingdom go up in flames before I give in!' When the Queen reproached him for losing control, he asked, 'Does the Queen lack for anything?' In a letter to Archbishop Diepenbrock of Breslau the King's tone became even more tasteless, 'I give you my Royal word that in the last 4 months, almost 5 months, I have neither slept with the Queen nor any other female being.' However, he continues that he would never give up his relationship with Lola. 'That, Archbishop, is and always will be impossible.
The catholic church was in general going through quite a few changes and did not know what had hit it. Like a bolt out of the blue Ludwig ordered that nuns would only be allowed to take their vows at a mature age. At the same time the first Protestant - Georg Maurer - was appointed to the ministry. The fact that it would be a long time indeed before Catholics were given ministerial posts in Prussia showed what an enormous step this was.
So at the beginning of 1848 a rather splendid opposition developed against the monarch who Klenze now called 'the whore's stallion'. Bishops, townspeople and peasants alike were all convinced that Ludwig had to be deposed. Bernstorrf's reports were becoming more and more prophetic. he wrote, 'King Ludwig, in the eyes of his people, has been stripped completely of all his authority, all his respect and all his trust. He is considered to be fully or half-insane and it would not take very much at all now to dethrone him.'
Ludwig on the other hand just could not see what all the fuss was about. He simply cannot understand that the people accepted his affairs, but not all the wheeling and dealing that went with them. This is proven by a quote that Klenze also noted, 'I just do not understand how my relationship with Lola could have been been turned into such a crime, when she is my fiftieth mistress. You put up with all the other 49 without a murmer.'
This lack of insight finally led to the events of March 1848. The streets of Munich echoed with the shouts of the people like, 'Down with the whore! Down with the whore's king!' The main police station was devastated, the storming of the Royal Palace was just a matter of time. 'In Munich the students, painters and workers are revolting,' wrote Engels in Brussels to Marx in Paris on 8th March. On 20th March 1848King Ludwig abdicates, Lola disappears from Bavaria.
Ludwig wrote that he ruled as if he 'were a civil servant in a free state.' When he made this statement he was hardly aware at all that he was actually sowing the first seeds of the free state of Bavaria that was to come about exactly 70 years later after the revolution of 1918. Ludwig I, ruler of the normally so obedient Bavarian people, was in fact the first German monarch to step down from the political stage in that revolutionary month of March. What was it again that Klenze wrote? 'By God in Bavaria nothing is impossible!
By Rudolf Reiser, published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, October 12 /13, 1991