After leaving behind their extended family and friends and beautiful home in Berlin, Maria and Bruno's immediate family move in to the new house at Out-With. It is quickly apparent from the description of the home and its environs as well as the remarks of the family members that the move has not been a pleasant one. For, rather than being in the cultured and busy city of Berlin, they are now out in some desolate area without any other houses around.
[Mother] As the mother looks around, she comments, "We should never have let the Fury come to dinner....some people and their determination to get ahead." After she leaves, Bruno overhears his father talking with other soldiers who congratulate him for his new position and complain about the previous commandant. A smiling Father tells his men,
"Here we have a fresh beginning, but let that beginning start tomorrow. For now, I'd better help my family settle in or there will be as much trouble as there is for them out there, you understand?"
The men laugh, salute, and depart, walking sharply. After they are gone, Bruno knocks on his father's office door. Having entered, Bruno is asked by his father what he thinks about their new home.
"What do I think? No, I think we should go home....When can we go back to Berlin? It's so much nicer..."
His father objects to Bruno's words, but he continues, saying that his friends Karl, Martin, and Daniel are not with him and there is no place to go, no houses, no markets, no streets to stroll along, no cafes. To these objections, his father replies, "You don't understand the significance of such a position." But, Bruno counters with saying that he does not want to understand; he just wants to go home. And, when his father tells Bruno he must accept it, Bruno retorts, "I don't want to accept it!" "Go to your room," his father orders.
Bruno finds everything "horrible" in his new location. When Maria comes into his room to put away his laundry, he asks her if she likes this new house.
"I always enjoyed the gardens at the house in Berlin," she answers, wistfully. Bruno presses her, but Maria will not reveal her feelings; instead, she says that his father "has a lot of kindness in his soul which make me wonder what he can...How he can..." and she explains how his father gave her a position after her mother died when she was little because her mother had been a dressmaker for Bruno's grandmother.
Bruno still tells Maria, "I think we've made a terrible mistake," and Maria replies, "Even if you do, you mustn't say it out loud. Just keep quiet." She cautions Bruno that they can get into trouble and must keep quiet. But, Bruno talks about running away.
Gretel does not appear in Chapter 5 or Chapter 6. In the previous chapter, however, she talks with Bruno and they look out a window at the internment camp,
"Maybe this is our holiday home." But, on further thought, she cannot imagaine that this place could be such a place.
"Why would father take a new job here in such a nasty place and with so many neighbors. It doesn't make sense."