Bruno does not lose his innocence. As a young boy in a new isolated environment, he misses his friends with whom he played with back home. Bruno deeply yearns for friendship and is glad when he stumbles upon Shmuel, who he quickly makes a connection with. However, Bruno is too naïve to realize that Shmuel, just like the rest of the misery-stricken folk across the fence, are Jewish prisoners. Instead, he is saddened by their appearance and ponders why and how they live that way. In fact, Bruno is too innocent to realize that he has on several occasions shared a dinner table with Hitler, the man responsible for Shmuel’s misery, in his own home.
The two boys’ bond grows, and Bruno even sneaks food for malnourished Shmuel. After he learns that they would be returning to Berlin, he feels guilty about leaving Shmuel behind and offers to assist him to find his father. It is this innocent decision that leads to his death, alongside his friend in the gas chamber.