• Reflective Resources

The Boy in Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne recommendation

“What exactly was the difference? He wondered to himself. And who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas and which people wore the uniforms?”  John Boyne


The Boy in Striped Pyjamas is not based on a true story, it is a fictional “fable” of the Holocaust though there was a commandant at Auschwitz who brought his family, including his five children, to live near the camp


The story is narrated by 9 year old Bruno, the son of a German Commandant during World War II. His father has been rising in the ranks of the Nazi army, and Bruno has lived a sheltered life in Berlin with his Mother, sister Gretel, maid Maria, and butler Lars before arriving at 'Out-With' ( Auschwitz). He makes friends but is completely oblivious of the horror that is going on right next door to him  


“It's so unfair, I don't see why I have to be stuck over here on this side of the fence where there's no one to talk to and no one to play with and you get to have dozens of friends are probably playing for hours every day, I'll have to speak to Father about it.”  John Boyne


There are a lot of themes running through this book including boundaries, complicity, family and friendship, human nature, innocence and ignorance, gender roles, honesty, integrity, nationalism.



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