The Legend of Baron Batz


Many buildings in Paris are associated with conspiracies, but this sign marks the spot: while Louis XVI was transported from Temple to his appointment with guillotine, Baron Batz with a handful of committed royalists was ready to free the king! Most of the conspirators got massacred but Batz walked. He always did. I do not hesitate to name Batz as the first mission impossible hero, all be it all his missions failed, being genuinely impossible; nevertheless, it is insane how close he would get to actually pulling them off. Robespierre, who had a price put on Batz’s head, for a while depended on him, so famous was Batz for his financial schemes. He was the only one ready to finance any crazy idea, and this is probably why he was involved in so many: A simple explanation to the phenomena would be equating Batz’s ability to organize with his ability to corrupt everything around him, which takes us back to his ability to make money at the time when nobody had any. We know that he could give Louis XVI 500 000 livres right when the King needed it, or offer the jailers of Marie-Antoinette a million, creating a havoc that almost led to her escape. What is amazing in all of these legendary escapades is Batz’s ability to keep one step ahead of his pursuers — always on the run, but while fleeing, always looking for a new weapon.Jean-PierreBatz

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