Why is the watch so important to Shmuel?

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In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, Bruno meets Shmuel, and they form a friendship that takes place across the fence that surrounds the prisoners in the death camp. Shmuel tells Bruno about his life before the war and before the soldiers came and rounded up his family and the other Jews in their town. As Shmuel tells Bruno his story, the reader understands many things that neither boy fully grasps. Shmuel says,

All I know is this...Before we came here I lived with my mother and father and my brother Josef in a small flat above the store where Papa makes his watches. Every morning we ate our breakfast together at seven o'clock and while we went to school, Papa mended the watches that people brought to him...

(The entire section contains 404 words.)

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