Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

Katrina, Josh and Angel
Post #1 - Introduction
Post #2 - Organizing The History
Post #3 - Photo Project
Post #4 - Individual Responsibility and Resistance 
Post #5 - Perpetrators, Collaborators, Bystanders, and Rescuers
Post #6 - Final Project - The Suitcase Project


  1. Hi, my name is Navona. My understanding of The Holocaust is that Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany and the National Socialist German Workers' Party had been elected, slowly revealing his twisted ideas to the people of his nation. He believed that Jewish people who weren't deemed part of his idea of a "pure race" were inferior and didn't deserve to be treated as equals, therefore many Jewish individuals had their rights and freedoms stripped away from then, and many were thrown into concentration camps and killed. Though this happened a while ago, the same types of prejudice target many groups of people, not only Jewish people and we all must learn to not discriminate and hate each other.

  2. Hey, my name is Katrina. What I know about the Holocaust is that it all started when Adolf Hitler was elected. He wanted to eliminate Jewish people. Around six million Jews were killed in the process of his idea. Adolf thought Jewish people were inferior to the rest of society.

  3. Hi, my name is Angel. All I know about the Holocaust so far is it started when Germany lost the World War 1, and Adolf Hitler was elected and he start to blame the Jews about their lost. He believed that Jewish people didn’t deserve to be equal, so he starts making laws about the Jews. He wanted to eliminate all the Jewish people, so he gather and take all the Jewish people and send them into places called the ghettos until he realize that it’s not enough to punish the Jewish people, so Hitler sent all the Jewish people to Concentration camps. The Jews were forced to do physical labor and most of them were immediately sent to the gas chamber. The Jewish people that were forced to do physical labor died because of extreme exhaustion and hunger. Over 6 million Jewish people died because of the Holocaust. And in 1945 the Holocaust ended because the Jews were rescued, but the effect of the Holocaust never ended because the people are still affected by the Holocaust or being discriminated today. What would you feel if you were the one sent to the Concentration camps? Would you survive the Holocaust? Do you think you have enough courage to live after the Holocaust?

  4. Hi, this is Navona.

    “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas has enhanced my understanding of the Holocaust because as I read the book, I came to understand a new perspective of someone living in the time of this tragedy. I started to learn more about how many Jewish people were discriminated against and how powerful hatred could be.

    An event that added to my knowledge of the Holocaust was when Bruno was told to never go over to the other side of the fence to play with Shmuel. This was because the other side of the fence was a concentration camp and Jewish people were to never mix with other people. This added to my knowledge because even if you became friends with a Jewish person at the time, you could be severely punished and it was considered a crime. This also made me think about how powerful discrimination can be; it can divide a group of people from another group of people and create barriers that separate humans due to false stereotypes.

    Bruno, the protagonist, has no idea of what is going on at the time. Being a child, he is still naïve and the only thing he really cares about is playing with his friends and exploring. Regardless of the fact that his father is a powerful Nazi figure, he thinks that his Jewish friend, Shmuel lives on the other side of the fence because he figures it’s just a different neighbourhood.

    I think the author’s purpose of writing this account of history is to provide a different perspective regarding the Holocaust. To prevent another genocide, one must educate others about the effects of discrimination.

    Answers to discussion questions :
    1) If I were to be sent to a concentration camp, I would feel devastated. Being separated from family and knowing that I would most likely be killed or worked to death would really scare me.
    2) I’m not sure if I would be able to survive the Holocaust, probably not ; the conditions you have to live with and the treatment you’d receive is truly terrible. I would most likely lose hope and/or die.
    3) I don’t know if I would have enough courage to live after the Holocaust. I think I wouldn’t be able to deal with memories from the past and would feel constantly haunted.

    Discussion questions :
    1) What do you think Bruno would do if he knew that Shmuel was in danger?
    2) How do you think Bruno would react if he were to know that his father was a Nazi soldier and was responsible for the death of so many people?
    3) Why do you suppose Bruno didn’t stand up to Lieutenant Kotler when he fed Shmuel food?

  5. with how far i have gotten into my reading of 'boy in the striped pajamas' its enhanced my knowledge on how discriminated against the Jewish really where, i like how this books protagonist was based from a German perspective. it showed a bit on how even though you where German you didn't really fully understand what all is going on at the time if you where a part of the youth. the most effective event that happened yet was when Bruno asked his father who all the people on the other side of the fence was unknowing that they where Jewish people in an internment camp, and his father replied that they weren't considered humans, but more of a lower class life form type thing. that was a very powerful message that they put in the book, also when Bruno used the term 'heil Hitler' thinking it was more of a formal greeting or goodbye then its actual meaning.

  6. Post #2
    Hi this is Angel.
    As I continue reading this book, it develop my learning about the Holocaust. I understand how hard the life is to be far from your family and work in such a young age. I started to learn about how the Jewish people is discriminated and treated unequally and I learn more about how people can easily discriminate others.
    An event in my book that's been added to my knowledge of the Holocaust was when Bruno's family move to Out-with and just by the other side of the fence is the concentration camp were the Jewish people work. Jewish people were not allowed to mix with other people. And Bruno is told to never go over the other side of the fence and the people he see in his room that wears stripped pajamas are not people at all. And because Bruno is just a young boy that only care about having a friend and having someone to play with, he went to the concentration camp that he thought is just a different neighborhood with children he can play with. His parents didn’t know that he has a friend at the concentration camp that he always play with. And this event develop my understanding because if you became friends with the Jewish people before, you can be punished, because being friends with the Jews was considered a crime. And how hard the life was at the time of the Holocaust.
    Bruno is the main character, and at the time he was only eight years old when his family moved to Out-with. He is still immature to know what was going on at the time. He only cares about exploring and having someone to play with. So when his parents is out our busy he go to the concentration camp and bring Shmuel (his Jewish friend) a food to eat. His parents have no idea about what his doing, he keep it as a secret because he know that if he go to the other side of the fence his parents will be mad at him.
    Discussion Questions
    1.What do you think Bruno’s father would do to Shmuel if he finds out that he is friend with his son Bruno?
    2.What do you think happen to Pavel when he spilled the wine in Lieutenant Kotler's lap?
    3. What punishment do you think Bruno will get if his father or Lieutenant Kotler caught him playing and talking with Shmuel?

  7. This novel takes place in the year 1943. I know this because Bruno is 9 and was born in 1934. The protagonist lives in a house near the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. I assume the plot takes place in the middle of the war as there are already many prisoners in Auschwitz even before Bruno’s family arrives. It must be the middle of the war because Bruno’s father was recently promoted to a higher level Nazi soldier.

    Bruno comes from a German, non-Jewish family so he wouldn't experience the drastic change like a Jewish family would due to the Holocaust. Therefore, his life is pretty much the same as before. Bruno is naïve and doesn't really understand what exactly is going on; all he knows is that he must move due to his father’s job. The effect of moving does, however, opens his eyes ; although he’s not aware the fence near his house separates him and a deadly concentration camp, he’s now more aware of how other people live in worse conditions. Prior to moving to his new house near Auschwitz, he lived in Berlin in a very large house. His family is very affluent and his father is an important leader in the Nazi army.


    -This barbed fence reminds of the fence in the novel which separates Bruno and Shmuel.


    -This photo shows a woman who was given an award for giving birth to children of the “pure Aryan race”. It was also taken at an SS man’s wedding, reminding me of Bruno’s parents ; his father is a high ranking Nazi soldier and his mother gave birth to 2 German, non-Jewish children.


    -This photo portrays Germans that have sworn allegiance to the Fuehrer. I chose this photo because it reminds me of Bruno’s father who is very loyal to Adolf Hitler.

    Answer to discussion questions :

    1) If Bruno's father knew Shmuel was interacting with Bruno, I think he would be furious. He would probably punish Shmuel by ruthlessly beating him, torturing him or making him participate in forced labor. If he was extremely upset, he might even make Shmuel go into the gas chamber.

    2) I think when Pavel spilled the wine on Lieutenant Kotler's lap, he was beaten extremely severely. The book says Lieutenant Kotler did a VERY terrible thing to Pavel so I can assume that Pavel suffered very serious injuries.

    3) If Bruno's father or Lieutenant Kotler knew that Bruno was interacting with Shmuel, he would very most likely be punished. I assume that his own father or Kotler might beat him or they would lecture him and tell him many terrible things about Jewish people that would make Bruno want to stay away from Shmuel.

  8. blog post #3
    the book which i am reading takes place in the Auschwitz internment camp located in Oswiecim, Poland in 1943, Navona and i figured that since Bruno is 9 years old and was born in 1934. also during the year of 1943 the birkenau gas chambers where opened.

    Bruno s life wasn't changed all that drastically compared to a Jewish perspective when the Nazi occupation started but none the less he was a part of something he could not fully comprehend.


    ^ this photo reminds me of when brunos family was back in Berlin and he gave the nazi salute to his father,


    ^ reminds me of the current view from his window of the fence into the camp of jewish men.

  9. Post #3
    Since blog 2 some events had been added to my knowledge. Reading the book “The boy in the stripped pyjamas” has enhanced my learning about the Holocaust. Holocaust is traumatic event that happened during World War 2. Adolf Hitler took away all the freedom that Jewish people had before.
    Since last week I have read about how Bruno met Shmuel, and how they became friends. Bruno is a 9 year old boy. He lives near the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. When his family moved in Out-with Bruno has a lot of freedom, he can explore to many places with his friends. He has a lot of adventurous place to explore. But since his family moved his freedom to do all he wants is gone. Bruno and her sister are home schooled, and the teacher told Bruno to stop reading Adventure books, and because of the teacher Gretel (Bruno’s sister) is influence and now she thinks that the Jewish people are the enemy and they are bad for the country. Even though Bruno knows that his not supposed to be friend with Shmuel because his Jewish he still continue because all he cares is to have friend to play with.


    This reminds me about Bruno having fun in the city of Berlin with his friends. I chose this because in the book Bruno always want to go back in Berlin until he met Shmuel. When he Shmuel he change his mind about going back to berlin.

    1. What do you think Bruno will think about his father when he finds out that he is part of the Nazi soldiers that kill Jewish people?
    2. Do you think Pavel died after Lieutenant Kotler beat him up?
    3. What do you think Bruno think when he starts learning about how bad Jewish people are?

  10. Post #4 (Part 1)

    Hey, this is Navona.

    Though it may not be obvious, there are various instances in the novel where the characters resist Nazi oppression.

    1) When Bruno and Shmuel first met, Bruno had said “Germany is the greatest of all countries”, and “We’re superior”, a response he had learned from his father and grandfather. I feel that Shmuel did not think the same, and although he didn’t speak up, he did not necessarily agree.

    2) As Bruno and Shmuel were discussing Lieutenant Kotler, Shmuel had mentioned “There aren’t any good soldiers”. Bruno, who’s father is a high ranking Nazi official, had disagreed, insisting that his father was a good person. Shmuel disagreed, repeating his first response. This shows resistance because he would not agree with Bruno that there were any good Nazis.

    3) When Bruno was about to give Shmuel food, he brings up his dislike for Kotler and talks about how he isn’t really in charge of the house. This is resistance because he doesn’t agree with Kotler’s behaviour towards Jewish people.

    4) In the novel, it describes Bruno’s experience when Hitler had arrived at his house for dinner. Bruno shows a dislike for the Fuhrer as he thinks he is rude and very demanding.

    5) Bruno is told many times by his family to never mingle with those on the other side of the fence, but near the end of the book, he disobeys this rule and crawls under the fence to be with Shmuel.

    In general, although Bruno is the son of a high ranking Nazi officer, he is constantly questioning the morality the Nazi’s twisted beliefs and practices.

    Some obstacles that might have hindered Bruno and Shmuel’s resistance include:

    -When Shmuel was first sent away due to the Nazis to live in one single room with another family prior to being sent to Auschwitz. These events may have triggered fear for Shmuel as the Nazis are exercising power over him and his family.

    -When Shmuel was beaten by Kotler for being fed by Bruno. This must have hindered his resistance because he was punished ; Kotler was abusing him.

    -When Bruno is constantly being told to not be with Jewish people.

    -When Kotler had threatened Bruno when he was seen with Shmuel in the kitchen. The way Kotler was questioning Bruno must have made him fear resisting the Nazi’s beliefs.

  11. Part 2

    One historical act of resistance in history includes the efforts of Oskar Schlindler. Born an ethnic German, Schlindler was a Nazi soldier and spy but was able to save over 1,200 Jewish people during the Holocaust by giving them jobs in his enamelware and ammunition factories. He progressively began to understand the severity of how badly Jewish people were being treated and began to take action. Through bribes and negotiations with other soldiers, Schlindler was allowed to relocate his Jewish employees to safety.




    Based on my learning, I think that being a responsible citizen means treating everyone the way you want to be treated. You should be kind and helpful to others and always take a stand for what you know in your heart is wrong. Never do something that you’ll regret and try contribute to society in a beneficial way. Also, never be apathetic as it can result in something like the Holocaust.

    Answer to discussion questions :
    1)I think if Bruno were to find out his father was responsible for so many deaths, he would be horrified. Bruno looks up to his father, he thinks he is a good man and if he were to know such things he would definitely be in shock and possibly in denial. I think Bruno would be ashamed.

    2)The novel does not bring up Pavel after the wine-spilling incident, but I can conclude that Pavel may have possibly died, after the beating from Kotler. I think this because he is already very weak and in poor condition. Whatever Kotler did to hurt Pavel could have resulted in death.

    3)If Bruno was brain-washed to believe that Jewish people were bad, I think he would most likely end his friendship with Shmuel. But due to the fact that he is a naive, young child, he doesn't grasp the Nazi morals and beliefs he is taught thus allowing him to appreciate Shmuel as an equal.

    Questions for other people:
    1)How do you think Bruno's father reacted to the news about Bruno near the end of the novel?

    2)Do you think the fact that Bruno's father lost his own son would make him realize the pain he had inflicted on other families?

    3)Due to the fact that Bruno is German, do you think it might have affected Shmuel's opinion of him?

  12. Blog post #4
    Summary: Until now Bruno keeps on bringing food and going at the other side of the fence to meet Shmuel, he kept it as a secret. He disobeys his parents command, he lied to them. Even though Bruno knows about how he should not be friend with Shmuel, he just ignored it and continues what he was doing. His parents don’t have any idea about what his doing; they don’t know that Bruno has a Jewish friend. And when Bruno’s parents were out he sneaks out of the house and go to the other side of the fence to meet Shmuel.

    Shmuel shows his resistance to the Nazis by talking to Bruno secretly. By being friend with him and eating food that his not supposed to have. Shmuel knows that he can’t be friend with Bruno, but just like Bruno they keep on what they’re doing and keep it as a secret. Bruno shows his resistance by disobeying his parents and lying to them. Bruno didn’t care about all the things his teacher said about the Jews. He ignored everything he learned. He thinks that it’s not wrong to be friend with Shmuel. But his parents don’t want him to be friend with any of the children in the other side of the fence because his father said that they are not people at all. Bruno and Shmuel show their resistance secretly.
    I think someone would show their resistance during the holocaust because some Jewish people just want to protect their selves from the Nazis. They think that resisting is a good idea also, and that is their way to show the Nazis that they are wrong. They want to resist because many Jewish people think that they are at the concentration camp to die. They know that they’re going to die so they try to resist and fight against the Nazis for the rights they deserve.

    1. Do you think showing resistance is the right thing to do during the holocaust? Why or why not?
    2. Would you resist to the Nazis if you know that they will going to kill you if you resist?
    3. What would you do if you were in the concentration camp, would you fight just to get the rights you deserve?