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The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

The Boy In the Striped Pajamas takes place during World war 2. The story is based around a young boy named Bruno and his family. His father a commander in the German Army, his 12-year-old sister and his mother are forced to move out of Berlin to do their father's position in the army. Bruno is very reluctant to go and is not happy at all, having to leave behind all of his friends and school. When they arrive at their new house Bruno is immediately upset. As time goes on Bruno notices how there is a “Farm” right outside his window. In reality, it is a Concentration Camp. Bruno and his mother and sister are unaware of this at the time. Bruno is later introduced to Pavel, a Jew from the camp. Bruno does not understand why he is dressed the way he is and why he is peeling potatoes. Eventually, Bruno ends up sneaking out to see the camp where he meets a young Jew boy named Shmuel. Bruno is scared to talk to him at first but he gradually gives in. The two become friends. One day Bruno goes to visit Shmuel at the camp after not seeing him for multiple days, Shmuel tells him that his father has gone missing. Bruno offers to go inside and help look for him. Bruno finds out the family is moving because his mother does not like the location. During moving day Bruno sneaks to the camp. Shmuel gives him a pair of “pajamas “ and a cap. Bruno digs under the electric fence to get inside the camp. Once under the Boys go to look for Shmuel dad. The camp was nothing like Bruno had expected, Bruno gets scared but he knows that he must help his friend. The two boys go to check Shmuel's dad's bunk, when they are interrupted by soldiers and other Jews, they force them into a group and rush them into a gas chamber. The two boys die in the end, believing that it was just a shower.
The book was based on World War 2. Bruno’s dad was a Nazi, he was a Nazi Commandant and he had authority. When Hitler came over for dinner in Berlin he made Bruno’s dad the head of Auschwitz Birkenau. The camp that was near Bruno’s house was not just an ordinary camp it was Auschwitz. Auschwitz was one of the most notorious death camps. A death camp was where the gas chambers and crematorium were, it was worse than concentration camps. During World War 2 Auschwitz was the most feared by the Jews. About 1.1 million Jews were killed at Auschwitz. The fenced-off area of the camp was all-electric, it made sure that no prisoners got out, there were also multiple guard towers. There were many Jews who couldn’t handle the camp anymore and would purposely run into the fence to kill themselves. In the book, Shmuel constantly asks Bruno for food and is disappointed when Bruno doesn’t bring any. The “food” that the Hews were given was near to nothing. They were only given enough food to survive. They were basically fed scraps if they were lucky they’d get a bowl of watery soup and if they were really lucky they might even get a small piece of bread about the size of a nut.
This story really shows how cruel this time period was. Not only were we in a World War but we had literal camps where people were brought against their will to be exterminated. Why you may ask because they weren’t German because they weren’t pure Aryan race because they were considered by Hitler as one of the Undesirables. This showed how cruel society was, the fact that one man wanted to exterminate a race and the majority of Germany didn’t care, they were ok with this idea. Today nothing like this would ever pass. This book shows how brainwashed the majority of the German population was.
The author’s purpose in writing this book was to show the inhuman crimes committed against the Jews and to give us an idea about how different it was from being a Jew compared to being a German. What I got out of this was exactly that but I also realized that not all Germans were brainwashed Nazis. The author builds up Bruno’s persona as an innocent little boy who wants nothing to do with all of this Nazi stuff. When the tutor comes, Gretel changed. She gave up being a little girl and became a supporter of the Nazi ideas. Bruno remained opposed and refused to read books promoting Nazi ideas. This showed me that not everyone was bad. Bruno risked his life for a Jew. Bruno’s mom was also clearly opposed to all of this. She even thanked Pavel for bandaging up Bruno. No one even dared to talk to a Jew as they were disgusted. This author also made it so that the Grandmother opposed her son's job and ideas.
I think that the book was good. The author was able to fulfill his purpose. He got me to understand what was going on during that time period and he did it a way that didn’t bore me. He built up the characters in a way that got me to either really like them or despise them. Such as Bruno and Shmuel and Pavel, he got me attached to those characters and that got me to want to keep reading. He got me to despise Lieutenant Kurk, building him up to be a racist who beat up my favorite characters. He did a good job of keeping me entertained and playing with my moods, as an author should do. He didn’t twist any history, even though the book is fiction it was completely based on true events.
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