As seen in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, what does the word "Shmuel" actually mean?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Shmuel is the name of a character in John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Shmuel is the boy who is befriended by Bruno. Bruno notices that the boy is shoeless and is wearing striped pajamas. Shmuel, after many conversations with Bruno, promises Bruno that he will get him a pair of striped pajamas so that he will look like the people on Shmuel's side of the fence. Unfortunately for Bruno, the pajamas that Shmuel gives to him leads up to the death of both boys. The boys, based upon their clothing (the striped pajamas) are lead into the gas chamber and put to death.

As for the meaning of Shmuel's name, as noted above, its Hebrew meaning is "his name is God." The name Shmuel mirrors the Greek and Latin Samouel and is seen in popular culture as Samuel.



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