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|“||Schmitz, my name. Wrestler.||„|
|~ Gottlieb Biedermann|
In the book
At the beginning of the story, Schmitz invited himself to the house of the main protagonist Gottlieb Biedermann. Biedermann tries to explain to his wife that Schmitz is no fire raiser, what he actually is. Later, he tells Mrs. Biedermann about his old friend, Willi, who suddenly appears. Later, he and Willi carry tons with petroleum to the loft, planning to set the house on fire. When the Biedermann's and their guests eat together, a drunken Joseph sings " Fuchs, du hast die Gans gestohlen, gib sie wieder her, gib sie wieder her, sonst wird dich der Jäger holen mit dem Scheißgewehr...". Joseph scares Mrs. Biedermann by playing a ghost after Willi threw a tablecloth over him, saying he's Knechtling, an employee of Biedermann who killed himself after Biedermann fired him. Willi and Sepp leave when the house burns down and the Biedermann's die.
In the postlude, what's only allowed in Austria and Germany
In beyond, the Biedermann's come to hell, being told that everone who wore a uniform when he killed or was killed, is save, so the devils are on strike. They turn out to be Willi and Joseph, what means they might have died earlier and became devils after death. Because of the strike, Wilhelm and Joseph are sending all souls back to Earth, including the Biedermanns, who wait for their rescue at the end.