In the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, the author has a background for both Bruno and the Jewish boy Schmuel. Bruno's father is the commandant in the Auschwitz camp while Schmuel is a Polish Jew. It isn't surprising that he is from Poland as almost the entire Polish population of Jews was destroyed in the war. The two lonely boys become friends, one on each side of the fence. Part of their background is that both boys have no friends, are lonely, and don't really understand what is happening at the camp. When Bruno doesn't stand up to the soldier for his friend Schmuel, he learns that he never wants to be that kind of friend again. This determination is what leads to tragedy in the end.