What year did the story take place in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?
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The story takes place during World War II in Germany. The war began in 1939 and ended in 1945, so the dates of the story take place between these times. The family moves to Auschwitz (what Bruno refers to as “Out-with” in 1942. This would have been the middle of the war, when the concentration camps were full and the Nazi Jewish extermination plan well under way.
The young boy Bruno is clearly in the dark about what his father does. When Hitler visits his house, he seems unaware of his importance. His mother explains that his father needs to move the entire family to Auschwitz.
“…sometimes when someone is very important, …the man who employs him asks him to go somewhere else because there’s a very special job that needs doing there…” (p. 4)
The family does not tell Bruno what he will be doing there, or what the concentration camp is for. When Bruno befriends the little inmates in “striped pajamas” and his friend Shmuel, he ends up losing his life.
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