The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is Irish novelist John Boyne’s Holocaust novel about the unlikely friendship that forms between the son of a Nazi commandant and a young Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz. It was published in 2006 with the title The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas. The story revolves around eight-year-old Bruno, the son of a Nazi commandant, who moves with his family to a house near a concentration camp. From his bedroom window, Bruno befriends a Jewish boy named Shmuel, imprisoned in the camp, and the two form an unlikely and forbidden friendship.
Set against the horrific backdrop of the Holocaust, the novel explores themes of innocence, friendship, and the impact of prejudice and hatred. Boyne’s narrative poignantly contrasts Bruno’s lack of awareness with the harsh realities of the concentration camp, providing a unique and thought-provoking perspective on the atrocities of the time. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas received acclaim for its emotional impact and its ability to convey the enormity of the Holocaust through the eyes of a child. A film version was released under the title The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in North America in 2008. Boyne published a sequel, All the Broken Places, in 2022.