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When Bruno's new teacher arrives, he tells the boy that history and geography are the only subjects worth studying. Of course, Bruno likes reading and art. When Bruno tells his father that he finds these subjects boring, his father replies,
"....it's history that got us here today. If it wasn't for history, none of us would be sitting around this table now. We'd be safely back at our table in our house in Berlin. We are correcting history here." (144)
This is important because it shows the frame of mind the German soldiers had concerning their cause.
When Bruno is talking with his father at the beginning of the book, he asks who the people are who live in the huts he can see from his window. His father replies,
"Those people ....well... they're not people at all, Bruno....Well, at least not as we understand the term.... They're nothing to do with you. You have nothing whatsoever in common with them." (pg 53)
This is an important quote because it shows what the German soldiers thought of their Jewish captives.
When Lieutenant Kotler is having dinner with the family, he tells of his father, a University literature professor, who has left the country and now lives in Switzerland, a country that did not take sides in the war. Father says,
"Perhaps he had disagreements with government policy. One hears tales of men like this from time to time. curious fellows, I imagine. Disturbed, some of them. Traitors, others. Cowards, too. Of course, you have informed your superiors of your father's views, Lieutenant Kotler?" (pg 147)
This is important because it shows what people thought of others who had different ideas from governmental policies. It also shows that a son was suppose to turn in his father if he showed viewpoints other than the government policies.
I wil add one last one. It is a little difficult to write out because it takes place in a conversation between Bruno and Gretel. This has a combination of what the Germans thought of the Jews and the innocence of children who don't understand it. When Bruno says that he doesn't understand why they can't go on the other side of the fence, Gretel tells him
"...the fence isn't there to stop us from going over there. it's to stop them from coming over here.... Because they have to be kept together....with their own kind....with the other Jews, Bruno."
When Bruno asks why we don't like them, her simple response is
"because they're Jews." (pg 182-183)
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