Chapter 2 of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, introduces the house at Auschwitz just after Bruno’s family moves into it. In this and several subsequent chapters, there is considerable evidence of tension among the family members. Bruno is not only homesick for their former Berlin home, and his room, but as he compares the two houses, he also finds fault with every aspect of their new residence. It is smaller and the floor plan is less appealing, as he has less room to play and less privacy because all the bedrooms are on the same floor. He senses that it has a cold, unwelcoming atmosphere. After walking around and finding nothing that pleases him, Bruno concludes that the move was a mistake.
When Bruno shares this conclusion with his mother, she is not pleased. She takes a fatalistic attitude, telling him that they must accept the decisions that others make for them. Realizing that her son finds no comfort in such an assessment, she gets annoyed and chastises him. His mother is uncharacteristically harsh in telling him not to share his negative opinions.
The family’s maid, Maria, has moved with them, and she helps Bruno move into his new room. As she unpacks, Bruno tries to get more information from her. Whether she actually does not know or does not want to tell Bruno, she is far from forthcoming. Regarding a visitor who seems to be a soldier, she advises him to avoid the young man.