Who's Who in Das Schloss

NOTE: Page references are to Das Schloß. Roman. In der Fassung der Handschrift. Herausgegeben von Malcolm Pasley, Frankfurt/M 1994 (Fischer Taschenbuch 12444: Lizenzausgabe mit Genehmigung von Schocken Books Inc., New York, USA). This paperback edition follows the historical-critical edition of the text published by Schocken Books in 1982.

I recently put together this list of characters while working on a critical guide to Das Schloss for Grant & Cutler (forthcoming). As it's not part of the book I decided to paste it on the Web. I hope it will make the novel more navigable for new readers.

I have provided brief notes on the characters in the novel, together with a page reference indicating where the character first appears or is first mentioned. I have also grouped the characters, somewhat arbitrarily, in 'families' where possible.


A stranger who arrives in the village and claims he has been appointed as land-surveyor.

Formerly 'Stallmagd' at the Brückenhof, she is at the time of K.'s appearance in the village the barmaid in the Herrenhof (p.48) and reputedly Klamm's mistress. She becomes K.'s 'Braut'. After leaving him, she sets up home with Jeremias in the Herrenhof. An orphan (p.243), she has a special relationship with Gardena, whom she calls 'Mütterchen'.

One of K.'s assistants. First appearance p.23. K. first meets him on p.27. K. hits him with his fist in the schoolhouse (p.288), and he leaves K.'s service to complain about him in the Castle.

One of K.'s assistants. First appearance p.23. K. first meets him on p.27. He leaves K.'s service and takes up with Frieda, his childhood companion.


The 'Barnabases'
The name used by the villagers, following the 'Sortini incident', for the whole family of which Barnabas is a member:

Youngest member of the family. A messenger from the Castle. First appearance p.32, bringing a letter from Klamm for K..

The father
Formerly (three years previously) owner of the most successful shoe repair business in the village and 'dritter Übungsleiter' of the village fire brigade. Now prematurely aged. First appearance p.41.

The mother
First appearance p.41. She has also aged quickly, and is now very frail.

Elder sister of Barnabas. First mentioned on p.41. Her refusal of Sortini's proposition precipitates the family into obloquy and penury.

Elder sister of Barnabas. First mentioned on p.41. Her long conversation with K. contains a narrative on the family's recent history.


Brunswick, Otto
One-time leader of the faction in the village which first requested the appointment of a land surveyor. First mentioned by the village elder (p.85). The brother-in-law of Lasemann (p.85), he helps Lasemann to evict K. from Lasemann's house (p.22f.). Formerly apprentice to Barnabas's father, the cobbler. A beneficiary of the boycott of 'the Barnabases', he has set up on his own, employing Barnabas, and has moved into the former 'Barnabas' house.

Brunswick, (Frau)
Otto Brunswick's wife (and Lasemann's sister). She describes herself, in answer to K.'s unprompted question, as 'ein Mädchen aus dem Schloß' (p.22). Mother of the baby Frieda and of the twelve-year-old Hans.

Brunswick, Frieda
The baby on Frau Brunswick's lap in the Lasemann house (p.21f.). Named on p.176 by Hans.

Brunswick, Hans
Twelve-year-old son of the Brunswicks. First appears in the scene in the Lasemann house (p.21), speaks to K. in the schoolhouse (p.161) and then introduces himself to K. (p.174).

A tanner by trade. Invites K. into his home (p.20f.), escorts him out again (p.22f.), introduces himself on p.23. Brother-in-law of Otto Brunswick. His family presumably includes 'der Alte' and 'die Wäscherin' (p.23).


Daughter of a blacksmith (p.103). Landlady of the Brückenhof. Sometimes referred to simply as 'die Wirtin'. First appearance p.11. First named on p.96. Called 'Mütterchen' by Frieda. Former mistress of Klamm.

Gardena's husband. First appears on the first page of the novel. First named p.102. The nephew of the former landlord of the then run-down Brückenhof.


The village superintendent (Gemeindevorsteher)
Not named. First mentioned in Klamm's first letter to K. (p.33) as K.'s 'Vorgesetzter' in the village. First appearance on p.74.

The village superintendent's wife. First appearance on p.75, named on p.76.


The landlady of the Herrenhof
Not named. First appearance p.46. Owner of an extensive wardrobe of clothes.

The landlord of the Herrenhof
Not named. First appearance p.45.


'Die Lehrerin', first appearance p.158. Her name is first mentioned by the teacher (p.114). Admired by Schwarzer.

Presents himself to K. as the son of a castellan (p.9). Named on p.12. In love with Gisa, with whom he spends hours in silent company. Her teaching assistant ('Hilfslehrer') in the village school.

The teacher
Not named. First appearance p.18. An occasional assistant to the village superintendent.


Friend of Barnabas's father and owner of a small allotment by a road leading to the Castle. First mentioned by Olga, p.264.

Frieda's replacement as serving girl in the tap room of the Herrenhof following Frieda's departure with K.. Formerly chamber maid. Forced to return to being a chamber maid when Frieda returns. First appearance p.124.

Henriette and Emilie
Chamber maids at the Herrenhof, who share a room with Pepi. Mentioned on p.373.

'Zwei Mägde' (p.34) who are obliged to vacate their room in the Brückenhof to accommodate K. and Frieda.

A coachman ('Fuhrmann') by trade. First appearance p.24. Named on p.25. Lives opposite the Lasemanns. Gives K. a lift to the Brückenhof. Offers K. a job (p.379).

Chief fire officer in the village. Gives a speech at the 'Barnabases' following the Sortini incident and requests the return of 'Father Barnabas's' diploma (p.247).



A Castle official, said by Pepi to be infatuated with her during her time as serving girl in the Herrenhof (p.362).

'Verbindungssekretär' of the Castle official Friedrich. Introduces himself to K. on p.311.

One of Klamm's first secretaries. First mentioned by Barnabas on p.290. First appearance on p.328.

A Castle official, Bürgel's superior, who, according to Bürgel, 'knows about K.' (p.311).

A Castle official spoken to on the phone by Schwarzer (p.12).

A Castle official. Reputed to have despatched the assistants to K. (p.283). 'Rescued' by Barnabas's father from a 'fire' at the Herrenhof (p.230).

A senior Castle official, in charge of K.'s case. First mentioned p.37. First appearance (seen through a peephole) on p.49.

Klamm's 'village secretary' ('Dorfsekretär'). First appearance probably on p.123, the man at the window observing K.'s approach to the Herrenhof. Introduces himself to K. on p.137.

A Castle official (p.30).

A Castle official (p.295).

A Castle official renowned for his conscientiousness and industry. Does not appear but is first mentioned by the village superintendent on p.79.

First mentioned by Olga (p.229). A Castle official who becomes infatuated with Amalia at the village festival and propositions her in a letter the following morning. Reputed to be standing in at the festival for Sordini, who is thought to be the official responsible for the fire department.

A Castle official for whom Momus also acts as 'village secretary'. Mentioned on p.138.

Also: various unnamed men serving as 'Knechte', whose behaviour in the village is unruly.