Katharina Blum (ka-tah-REE-nah blewm), a twenty-seven-year-old certified housekeeper who has been in charge of the Blorna household for four years. Katharina is a very private and proper person and an almost compulsive worker bent on improving herself. When she meets a fugitive, Ludwig Götten, at a party, she immediately falls in love with him. After he spends the night with her in her condominium apartment, Katharina tells him how to avoid the police by crawling through the heating ducts, which, along with the whole complex, had been designed by her employer, Trude Blorna. She subsequently expresses no regret over her murder of the sensationalist reporter Werner Tötges and looks forward to life with Götten at the end of their eight-year prison terms.
Erwin Beizmenne (EHR-veen BITS-mehn-neh), the chief crime commissioner. After Götten’s escape, Beizmenne, through a series of insensitive interrogations, attempts to establish a connection between Katharina and Götten’s crimes.
Werner Tötges (VEHR-nehr TEHT-gehs), a reporter for the sensationalist News. Tötges, disgracefully attacking Katharina’s character and honor, accuses her of involvement in Götten’s crimes. Katharina, distraught by the viciousness and lack of integrity of this man who has destroyed her privacy and reputation, invites him to her once-beloved apartment, purportedly for an interview, and shoots him.
Ludwig Götten (LEWT-vihg GEH-tehn), a twenty-six-year-old army deserter who absconds with army funds. Götten, who is accused of being a radical bank robber and murderer, is under police surveillance when he meets Katharina. He is later wounded when apprehended by the police. He affirms Katharina’s innocence.
Hubert Blorna (BLOHR-nah), a forty-two-year-old corporate attorney. Katharina works for Blorna and his wife, Trude. Blorna and his wife depend on Katharina to bring order to their household and...
(The entire section is 955 words.)