set of striped pajamas behind a barbed wire fence

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

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Describe Bruno's culture and background in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

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Bruno is a nine-year-old boy who initially lives with his family in Berlin, Germany. The novel takes place during WWII and Bruno's father, a Nazi Commandant, is sent to manage the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Bruno is not happy that his family has decided to move to a new home called "Out-With." As the novel progresses, Bruno becomes friends with a Jewish prisoner named Shmuel who lives on the other side of the fence. Throughout their conversations, Bruno tells Shmuel that Germany is the greatest nation on earth and expresses pride in his German heritage. Bruno's beliefs reflect his upbringing and the indoctrination of the Nazi youth. However, Bruno is too young and innocent to realize the gravity of the situation. The Third Reich was not only attempting to take over Europe in the 1940s, but they were also involved in the systematic annihilation of the Jews. Despite the fact that Bruno grew up in a Nazi household, he is not prejudiced towards the maids or Jewish prisoners like the other Germans. 

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