The Boy in the Striped Pajamas ends in misery-filled tornado of grief and doubt when Bruno goes missing and is never found again. To summarize, Bruno joins Shmuel on the other side of the fence to help him find his father, who went missing in the camp. While the two are searching, they get rounded up by soliders into a group and are forced to march. They end up marching into a gas chamber and are killed.
This book matters because it shows how many people were hurt by the Holocaust. It shows the innocence of children and how sick and twisted the regime must've been to want to torture them. It shows that people who are so different can become great friends, when they leave judgement aside. It matters because it gives us a reminder of how bad it was, so that we can learn to never let it happen again.
This is accomplished by writing the book from the eyes of children. Page 161 describes Bruno's concern with his friend's weight loss, which he later dismissed. He doesn't quite understand how bad it is for his friend. In addition, the book also methodically sequences itself, leading to Bruno's vague understanding that there is something wrong.
This is still so important today because genocide is still an issue. And as long as we have reminders like this, we can appropriately act on these crises, so that it never happens again.
"'You're my best friend, Shmuel,' he said. 'My best friend for life.' Shmuel may well have opened his mouth to say something back, but Bruno never heard it because at that moment there was a loud gasp as the door at the front was suddenly closed and a loud metallic sound rang through from the outside."
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a Holocaust novel about two young boys on either side of a fence. The protagonist, Bruno, is relocated along with his family from the city of Berlin to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp because his father received "an honorable promotion". The story is told from the third person perspective of a child who is blissfully unaware of the atrocities occurring less than a mile away.
Currently today, we still have similar persecution occurring among different groups. According to the Huffington Post, North Korea is the top religious persecuting country in the world. This is said to be because they put their beliefs before the state. All religious people are described to be "hostile" in North Korea, but some religions are worse than others. For example, it is better to be a Shaman than Christian, and slightly worse to be Catholic than Protestant. Recently, the British Aid group released a report, estimating some 50,000 christians are currently in penal camps. It is even speculated that unauthorized christians may be tortured or even publicly executed.
This is strikingly similar to the earlier stages of the Holocaust, when Hitler was first marching troops into Poland and Czechoslovakia. The problem is, we aren't even 60% sure what is going on in North Korea. The same thing happened with the Holocaust. The United States was aware of the discrimination of Jews, but we merely dismissed it. As it turned out, thousands were being mass murdered every day. History may be repeating itself for all we know, and the thought is quite scary.
The historical connection between the Holocaust and the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is fairly evident; Bruno lives on a concentration camp and his father is operating it. At first, it isn't so obvious because it is written in the third person perspective of a nine-year-old who is unaware of the politics of Germany. But this popular historical fiction novel has more behind it than what a little boy sees.
In historical context, Hitler rose to power in Germany and began his plan for Genetic Purification, which involved exterminating the "inferior races" such as Jews, people with disabilities, Roman Catholics, and anyone outspokenly against the Nazi Regime. Hitler wanted to create the perfect Aryan race in order to dominate the world by weeding out the "weak" and building up the strong.
One of the first direct mentionings of the holocaust in this book is when Gretel, Bruno's older sister, says the house is called "Out-With," clearly citing the famous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp that killed an estimated 1.5 million people (History.com Staff 2009). What you may find even more disturbing is Bruno's curiosity with his view from the window of the people outside in the matching clothes, huts, and smoke stacks. He describes them as "not very friendly looking".
In the book, Bruno's father receives a visit from Adolf Hitler and is promoted to Commandant. A commandant in the Nazi party was "the chief commanding position within the SS service of a Nazi concentration camp" (Wikipedia Contributor 2017). In the book, Bruno is upset with "The Fury" (fuhrer) because he doesn't want to move away from his home in Berlin. He is told to suck it up, that his father's job is very important. Another allusion to the fascist government is Bruno's description of a repeated greeting where he is instructed to stick his arm straight out and repeat a phrase. This is referencing the Nazi salute.
This hauntingly creative work displays fascism and the Holocaust from the innocent perspective of a child; but as clearly stated by the author, this is no book for a child.
There are more than 4,000 homeless people in Wake County alone (Raleigh Rescue Mission- Local Statistics 2017). This is a problem because these people don't have a safe place to live or certain resources that they need to survive, like food and hygienic products. This affects us because the homeless may be less fortunate than others, but they are still people and they deserve to have a healthy and safe life like other people. It also affects us because they are living in public areas that aren’t equipped to be used as shelter. We could all be much kinder and make others happy by showing homeless people that we care about their quality of life living on the streets or in a shelter. Life expectancy on the streets is less than 46 years (Raleigh Rescue Mission- Local Statistics 2017). People that live in shelters still don't have the best quality of life that they could if they had a home. They don't have all the resources they need on a daily basis and they can't provide those resources for themselves.