Bruno’s mother, known simply as “Mother” in the novel, is the struggling wife of a commanding officer in the Nazi Party. Whereas her husband spends most of his time working, Mother spends her time caring for their two children, managing the family’s servants, and presiding over every detail of the family’s home. She resents her husband’s unbending commitment to his career, and though she complies when his job requires the family to leave Berlin, she inwardly resists the decision. Though Mother frequently has the courage to argue with Father about matters related to family life, she does not speak out directly against his work or his involvement in the Nazi Party. In their new home at Out-With (Auschwitz) Camp, Mother’s antagonistic relationship with her husband takes its toll. She grows increasingly disenchanted with her life, and she exhibits signs of worsening depression. As her sense of isolation and desperation reaches its peak, she strikes up a flirtatious—and perhaps even adulterous—relationship with a handsome young soldier named Lieutenant Kotler. The personal hardship Mother experiences, and particularly the final loss of her son, symbolizes the collateral damage from her husband’s commitment to the ideals of the German “Fatherland.”