Shmuel is a nine-year-old Jewish boy who has been imprisoned in Out-With (Auschwitz) Camp along with his grandfather, father, and brother. Shmuel’s family used to live in another part of Poland, where daily life underwent a series of chilling changes. One day, his mother announced that every time he left the house, he needed to wear an armband bearing the Star of David. Not long after, soldiers forced Jewish families like Shmuel’s into ghettoes, where they lived in extremely cramped quarters until being shipped by train to Out-With. In addition to constant hunger and its wasting effect on his body, Shmuel struggles with fear and depression. As a nine-year-old who doesn’t comprehend the broader forces that have conspired to make his people suffer, Shmuel also feels overwhelmed by confusion. For Shmuel, his budding friendship with Bruno offers him respite from the harsh reality of life in the camp. Yet this friendship also brings some frustrations, particularly when he senses that Bruno is either incapable of or unwilling to consider his perspective on the camp. In the end, however, after Shmuel loses his grandfather and his father, his friendship with Bruno provides meaningful companionship through the terrifying final moments of his life.