(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Herr Dreissiger

Herr Dreissiger (DRI-sih-gehr), a manufacturer who works his weavers for all he can, paying them as little as he can, though he does not think he is a bad man. When the weavers riot, he tries to stand up to them but is forced to flee with his family.

Herr Pfeifer

Herr Pfeifer (PFI-fur), Herr Dreissiger’s manager, who judges the weavers’ work harshly, so that less money must be paid for it. He sides with his master against the weavers.

Moritz Jaeger

Moritz Jaeger (MOH-rihts YAY-gehr), a husky young returned soldier. Appalled at the weavers’ misery, he leads them to riot. He terms Herr Dreissiger an oppressive villain.


Becker, an impudent young giant of a man who is one of the weavers. He becomes a leader in the riots. After he is captured, his fellow weavers free him from the hands of the police.

Old Baumert

Old Baumert (BOW-mehrt), an elderly weaver who kills his pet dog so that his family can have meat.

Old Hilse

Old Hilse (HIHL-zeh), an elderly weaver who believes the weavers are wrong to riot. He stays at his loom, only to be killed by a stray bullet.

Gottlieb Hilse

Gottlieb Hilse (GOT-leeb), Old Hilse’s son. His wife shames him into joining the rioters.

Luise Hilse

Luise Hilse (lew-EE-zeh), Gottlieb’s wife. She braves the bayonets of the soldiers.

Mielchen Hilse

Mielchen Hilse (MEEL-khehn), Gottlieb and Luise’s small daughter.

Emma Baumert

Emma Baumert and

Bertha Baumert

Bertha Baumert, Old Baumert’s two daughters, who wear themselves out at the looms.

William Ansorge

William Ansorge (AHN-zohr-geh), the owner of the house in which the Baumerts live.

Pastor Kittelhaus

Pastor Kittelhaus (KIH-tehl-howz), a minister who has no sympathy for the rioting workers.

Herr Welzel

Herr Welzel (VEHL-tsehl), the keeper of the inn where the leaders of the weavers meet.

Anna Welzel

Anna Welzel, Herr Welzel’s merry, red-haired daughter.


Weinhold (VIN-hohlt), the tutor in Herr Dreissiger’s house. He sympathizes with the weavers.


Wiegand (WEE-gahnt), a joiner and coffin maker.