A Guide To The Many Main Characters On Babylon Berlin

Babylon Berlin is, far and away, Netflix's most compelling alternative to a history textbook. The epic show takes place in the Weimar Republic, the German state that existed between WWI and the Nazi party's takeover in 1933. And who knew the Weimar Republic was this racy? In large underground clubs, groups of people dance late into the evening, and visit shadowy basements to indulge in all manner of sexual curiosities. And in the streets, communist workers clash with police forces, both fighting over the future of the country.

When he's transferred from Cologne to Berlin, police inspector Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch) lands right into this social and political turmoil. In his position on the vice squad, Rath comes in contact with just about every axis of Berlin's counter-culture. This level of plot and historical detail can lead to confusion. You might find yourself asking which of these people is a communist, and which one is a traitor, and which one is a police inspector, again?

We're here to help. Here's a guide to all the main characters in Babylon Berlin, and what they want.

Read These Stories Next:
The Viral Words You Need To Know
Heartbreaking Movies You Should Never Watch Alone
Happy Songs That Will Instantly Put You In A Good Mood

This content is currently unavailable. Check it out from your desktop or on our web app!

This content is currently unavailable. Check it out from your desktop or on our web app!

This content is currently unavailable. Check it out from your desktop or on our web app!

This content is currently unavailable. Check it out from your desktop or on our web app!

(Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
Alexej Kardakow
Played By: Ivan Shvedoff

Who is he? Kardakow is a Russian violin virtuoso. Extremely charismatic and politically motivated, he organizes a group of fellow Trotskyists. He and his lover, Svetlana, try to smuggle her family's gold into Berlin. Coincidentally, Kardakow is the former tenant of the room in which Gereon Rath now lives.

What does he want? To bring Trotsky out from exile in Istanbul, and reinstall him in power.
Elizabeth Behnke
Played By: Fritzi Haberlandt

Who is she? After her husband dies in the war, Elizabeth supports herself by renting out rooms. Kardakov stays in one bedroom, but leaves suddenly without paying a month's worth of rent. Rath takes Kardakow's room.

What does she want? Her rent! She is one of many people who wants Kardakow found.

This content is currently unavailable. Check it out from your desktop or on our web app!

Getty Images Entertainment
Alfred Nyssen
Played By: Lars Eidinger

Who is he? Alfred Nyssen is the heir to a German steel dynasty (must be nice). He works for a secret organization and is in love with Svetlana.

What does he want? Svetlana, mostly — even though he doesn't know her true character.
Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images for GALA
Edgar the Armenian
Played By: Misel Maticevic

Who is he? Edgar is the leader of a gang. In the first episode, we get a glimpse of his brutal tactics. His restaurant's alcohol provider gave them low-quality booze, so he served him his brother's tongue.

What does he want? Power!
. (Photo by Isa Foltin/Getty Images)
Franz Krajewski
Played By: Henning Peker

Who is he? After WWI, Krajewski tried returning to the police force. However, he was too emotionally scarred from the war, and dropped out, becoming a heroin addict. From there, he became involved with underground pornography. At the start of the series, Krajewski almost kills Rath during their raid of the porn filming. Wolter recruits Krajewski to be a spy.

What does he want? We don't know what we wants; we know what he's forced to do — and that's work with the vice squad.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of celebrity news, fun takes on pop culture, and trending stories on the Refinery29 Entertainment Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Show More Comments...