What is Bruno's grandmother's attitude towards his father's job in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bruno's grandmother disapproves vehemently of her son's Nazi uniform and his appointment as Commandant at Auschwitz.

In Chapter 8, Bruno, who is unhappy living out in the country at "Out-With," recalls how he enjoys visiting his grandparents, especially his grandmother, who was once a professional performer. When the families get together, grandmother always has a skit for the children and her to perform, and she makes costumes, as well. Also, she never fails to sing for everyone with her lovely voice. But one memory is not so pleasant: When his father's parents came to their house for Christmas, Bruno's father had decided to wear his uniform. Seeing him in this uniform, Grandfather expressed pride, but Grandmother said she wondered if she went wrong having her son Ralf dress up as a boy. She tells him that in his uniform he looks like "a puppet on a string!" 

When Bruno's mother counters that her husband looks handsome in his uniform, Grandmother decries what she considers mere superficiality:

"That's all you soldiers are interested in anyway....Looking handsome in your fine uniforms. Dressing up and doing the terrible, terrible things you do. It makes me ashamed. But I blame myself, not you."

Even as she and Grandfather depart, Grandmother calls out, "The people you have to dinner...." then she adds that to see him in that uniform makes her want "to tear the eyes from my head."

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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