The Boy in the Striped Pajamas tells the tragic story of the potential effects of the second world war on children, and in this story in particular, the children of both Nazi commandants and Jewish parents. Bruno and Shmuel are the same age, share the same birthday and even look similar after Bruno's hair is shaved. However, they live very different lives, making their tragic deaths together, as "best friends for life," and under the same circumstances, all the more ironic as all their differences ultimately become immaterial.
Chapter 6: Bruno talks to Maria, the maid about the unacceptable circumstances of their move. Maria tells Bruno that his father is "a very good man" and outlines how he helped her own mother when she needed it. Maria is very cautious in answering Bruno's questions which only serves to make Bruno more determined to speak out. He is so frustrated that he considers running away but that would be even worse than their current unacceptable circumstances in his estimation.
Chapter 7: Bruno is trying to find things to do and notices the interaction between Pavel, the family's waiter and Lieutenant Kotler, one of Bruno's father's officers. Pavel is demeaned by Kotler and Bruno does not understand although he does feel "ashamed to be a part of it." Having made a swing, Bruno is injured while playing and Pavel bandages Bruno's injured leg and ensures that he is fine, assuring Bruno that his injury is not that bad. Bruno is confused when Pavel tells him that he is a doctor although he spends his time cleaning vegetables and waiting upon Bruno's family. Bruno is even more surprised when he overhears his mother agreeing that, if Bruno's father asks, she will say that she cleaned Bruno's injury.
Chapter 8: Bruno affectionately thinks of his grandparents whom he hasn't seen since the move to this "desolate place." Bruno remembers that his grandfather had called his own father "a patriot" but that his grandmother was in fact "ashamed" and the last time Bruno had seen her was when she stormed out of Bruno's house in Berlin.
Chapter 9: Time passes and Bruno ponders the people he has seen through his bedroom window, all of whom wear striped pajamas. Bruno decides he should explore outside. Before going off, he checks the plaque on the bench he has been able to see from his bedroom which he now knows commemorates the opening of "Out-With" camp in June 1940. He starts his exploration along the fence where he knows he is forbidden to be but he proceeds anyway.
Chapter 10: Bruno and Shmuel meet for the first time and discover that they share a birthday. The boys are intrigued by each other, although Bruno does not believe many of the things that Shmuel says, thinking that Shmuel is exaggerating. Bruno asks Shmuel the question that he has been wanting to ask for so long as to why there are so many people on "that side of the fence."