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 (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 (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 (BOW-mehrt), an elderly weaver who kills his pet dog so that his family can have meat.
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 (GOT-leeb), Old Hilse’s son. His wife shames him into joining the rioters.
Luise Hilse (lew-EE-zeh), Gottlieb’s wife. She braves the bayonets of the soldiers.
Mielchen Hilse (MEEL-khehn), Gottlieb and Luise’s small daughter.
Emma Baumert and
Bertha Baumert, Old Baumert’s two daughters, who wear themselves out at the looms.
William Ansorge (AHN-zohr-geh), the owner of the house in which the Baumerts live.
Pastor Kittelhaus (KIH-tehl-howz), a minister who has no sympathy for the rioting workers.
Herr Welzel (VEHL-tsehl), the keeper of the inn where the leaders of the weavers meet.
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.