The Boy In the Striped Pajamas

By: John Boyne

Summary-

Bruno is a nine year old boy. His father is a Nazi soldier in Germany until his family and himself are transferred so the father can work at Auschwitz. At Auschwitz, Bruno goes exploring and finds a wire fence. On the other side of that fence there is a boy wearing striped pajamas. His name is Shmuel. Bruno does not understand why Shmuel must stay inside the fence; he believes Shmuel is just like him, expect skinnier and in need of a meal. He learns from his father that they are supposed to despise the people in the striped pajamas, but Bruno visits Shmuel anyways because he doesn't want to let him down or abandon him. Later, Samuel's father goes missing. Bruno decides to borrow some striped pajamas and sneak through the fence to help Shmuel look for him. That when everything goes wrong.



Theme-

Don't discriminate against cultures different than you. You can find friendship in the most unexpected places. Bruno believed Shmuel deserved to be treated equally to him, he respected and believed in him even when everyone was telling him Jews were mongrels. Bruno did not think Shmuel and him couldn't be friends just because of culture. He believed the right thing to do was to be there for Shmuel.



Research-

Auschwitz was a concentration camp during WWII. It was surrounded by barbed wire fence. Over one million Jews were killed at Auschwitz. At first, Auschwitz was only meant to be a prison for anti-Nazi activists and politicians. When the War got to the point when they discriminated against Jews, they realized they could use Auschwitz for a death camp because they had so many Jews in Europe to kill. Most women and children in the camp were killed right awayin gas chambers. The gas chambers were disguised as showers to mislead the Jews into thinking they were taking a shower. Those fit to work were "promoted" to slave labor until they were worked to death. Conditions at Auschwitz were horrible. Prisoners starved, were beaten, and slept on wooden beds with no blankets or pillows.


Reflection-

I think the author could have made it a little more clear the the book took place in Auschwitz. I think he did a good job making a point of the lifestyle Jews have in concentration camps. The author explained how sometimes, Shmuel would come to the fence bruised and beaten or starved. They also did a good job showing the hostility of the Nazi soldiers through how they talked to Shmuel and the others Jews. He also did a good job showing how Nazis viewed Jaws and their culture. Maybe he could have done a better job telling you about other things in Auschwitz like the horrible beds and the ovens and trenches.


Citation

Auschwitz." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 10 June 2013. Web. 21 Jan. 2014.
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