John Boyne’s novel ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ was first publiburned in 2006 and also adapted into a best-offering film 2 years later. It is an global best-seller and as of 2016 it had sold seven million duplicates. Teachers across the UK usage it as a tool to teach around the Holocaust in both History and also English lessons.

You are watching: How does the boy in the striped pajamas end

Many type of civilization who have review the book or watched the film adaptation think that it is a true story based on real human being and actual events. However, it is essential to understand also that the book is a work-related of fiction. The events shown can never before have taken place. In this blog I outline some of the book’s historical inaccuracies and stereotypical portrayals of significant characters that help to perpetuate dangerous myths about the Holocaust.



Picture credit:

Bruno is the major character in the book. He is a young Gerguy boy whose father, a high-ranking Nazi, takes a brand-new project interpretation the family have to move to a brand-new area. Bruno is nine years old but doesn’t seem to be conscious of the battle approximately him, that the Jews are or even that Adolf Hitler is. As a young Gerguy boy, and also the boy of a senior SS officer, Bruno would have actually been, by law, a member of the Hitler Youth. He would certainly have attended a Germale school wbelow students regularly swore oaths to Hitler and wright here antisemitic propaganda infiltrated eextremely part of the curriculum. Children were taught that the battle was something to be proud of as it intended that Germany would certainly become a good power once more.

Bruno’s characterisation perpetuates the idea that a lot of German civilians were ignorant of what was happening around them. In reality the general public in Germany kind of and in populated Europe were well mindful that Jewish people were being persecuted, forced to emove and also inevitably deported. Tright here were also many that knew that Jewish civilization were being killed. Many Germans profited from the Holocaust as Jewish properties and also belongings were ‘Aryanised’, which meant they were taken from their Jewish owners and given instead to ‘ethnic’ Germans. A minority of German civilians stood up to Nazi belief. Nazi authorities stamped out resistance to the routine conveniently and brutally.



Picture credit:

Shmuel is a young Jewish boy that Bruno meets whilst experimenting near his new residence. The first time they meet, Shmuel is behind the barbed wire of a concentration camp. Over the course of the story the 2 boys create a friendship despite being separated by the barbed wire fence.

As an audience we learn a lot around Bruno, so he becomes a real little bit boy in our imagicountries. However before, Shmuel is only ever before shown as a one-dimensional victim. Shmuel has no personality or individuality, so the audience doesn’t construct an emotional link through him. This suggests it is harder for the reader to empathise through Shmuel and his situation.

Shmuel’s characterisation portrays Jewish victims as passive and also unresisting. However, Jewish resistance did exist both in and external the concentration and also death camps. At Auschwitz-Birkenau a group of Sonderkommando (Jewish detainees compelled to execute the devastating work-related of herding people right into the gas chambers, then rerelocating the dead bodies) effectively managed to blow up among the crematoria and kill a variety of guards. It is important that world understand that Jewish people did not go to their deaths without trying to save themselves.

Shmuel’s story is additionally historically inspecific. For readers of the book it is clear that the camp is more than likely the Auschwitz concentration camp facility as Bruno calls it ‘Out-With’. If a young boy prefer Shmuel had actually gotten in Auschwitz-Birkenau then it is exceptionally likely he would have been sent out straight to the gas chambers on arrival, just like the majority of kids that arrived tbelow, as the Nazis didn’t think about them valuable as compelled labour. A little variety of youngsters were liked for clinical testing however these children were kept away from the main camp. Even if Shmuel had been selected for forced work he would certainly not have actually had the possibility to spfinish most of his days sitting on the outskirts of the camp.

The Ending

The story’s conclusion leaves many kind of readers upcollection. Bruno digs a tunnel under the wire, crawls into the camp, then he and Shmuel go trying to find Shmuel’s absent father. Both boys are swept up in a team of detainees being taken to the gas chamber, wright here all of them are murdered. The emotional focus of the story is on Bruno’s family and also their ditension as they realise what has taken place to their kid. The reader’s attention stays via the suffer of the concentration camp commandant and also his wife whose child has been eliminated in what is shown as a tragic accident.

Due to the fact that the emphasis of the story stays on Bruno’s household, the book does not interact through the major tragedy of the Holocaust: that none of the civilization in the gas chamber must have been tbelow. Due to the means in which Shmuel’s character is illustrated in the novel, his character doesn’t communicate the reader’s sympathy in the method that Bruno does. Shmuel represents the 1.5 million children murdered by the Nazi program in Auschwitz-Birkenau, in the fatality camps of inhabited Europe and also in the killing fields wbelow millions of civilians were swarm into mass graves, yet the reader’s sympathy is directed towards a Nazi concentration camp commandant and also his household.

Picture credit;

What are the alternatives?

Some educators will certainly argue that ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ helps raise awareness of the Holocaust in world that would certainly not otherwise be interested, and there is maybe some truth in that. However before, in an educational conmessage it is necessary but that this book is only provided as a item of fiction and also that teachers make clear to young human being that historically the book is not factual. Tbelow are incredibly many type of survivor accounts of the Holocaust that are available to young civilization, or novels that are even more accurately based in fact and also less problematic from a historic and also moral suggest of view, that teachers might usage in the classroom. Our finding out programme for kids and young world is based upon the life stories of 16 youngsters and also young people that escaped or endured the Holocaust. Here are some of the alternative publications we imply teachers look right into.

Survivors of the Holocaust: this graphic novel by Huddersfield-based Fettle Animation is based upon the real-life testimony of six survivors all of whom likewise function in the ‘Thunstable Our Eyes’ exhibition. The book was painstakingly researched however is obtainable for young human being. The book is based on a series of award-winning animations created in partnership with the BBC.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr: the award-winning writer and also illustrator of The Tiger that Came to Tea and also the Mog stories was born into German Jewish family who fled Germany kind of in 1933 and also came to the UK in 1936. This semi-autobiographical book offers a childs-eye watch of the Second World War.

Hitler’s Canary by Sandi Toksvig is based upon Sandi’s family experience. In Dennote the Danish populace came together and were able to conserve the majority of Danish Jews by helping them flee to neutral Sweden or hiding them within Denmark, this is the story of one households role in the rescue.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is the the majority of renowned item of creating by a victim of the Holocaust. Anne is a actual child writing around her real experiences living under Nazi ascendancy whilst in hiding in Amsterdam. Tright here are also versions easily accessible that are suitable for major college students.

Once by Morris Gleitzguy tells the story of a young Jewish boy’s search for his parental fees. The novel is told with Felix’s eyes so the atrocities he witnesses in Nazi occupied Poland are told from a child’s perspective.

We have actually first-hand also filmed survivor testimony on our website that is easily accessible to use for complimentary, this deserve to be discovered right here.

See more: Who Do You Think You Are Bryan Cranston, Bryan Cranston

We run consistent occasions at our Exhibition & Learning Centre at the University of Huddersfield. Find out what’s on and also book your area right here.