Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, The


- Move!

- Move it!




It's me home.

- Bye, Bruno!

- Bye, Bruno!

- Hello, sweetheart.

- Mum, what's going on?

- We're celebrating.

- Celebrating?

Your father's been given a promotion.

- That means a better job.

- I know what promotion is.

So we're having a little party

to celebrate.

He's still going to be a soldier though,

isn't he?

Yes, my lamb.

Yes, just a more important one now.

There's some even more exciting news,

but I think Dad wanted

to tell you about that himself.

- Moving? Where to?

- To the countryside.

That's miles away.

What about Karl and Leon and Martin?

Sweetheart, I know it's hard,

but we're all having to say goodbye

to our friends for the time being.

Anyway, we'll make new ones

where we're going. Won't we?

Of course you are.

You'll make lots of new friends.

Bruno, you can have your friends

around in the morning before we go.

Think of it as an adventure,

like in one of your books.

But this is the best house ever.

Well, you never know. The house

we're going to might be even better.

Dad says it's got a garden.

Look, the thing is, Bruno,

the thing about being a soldier,

is that life is not so much about choice,

it's more about duty,

so if your country needs

you to go somewhere, you go.

Now, of course, going somewhere else

is much easier

when you know that your family

are so delighted to go with you.

Bruno! You're getting bigger

every time I see you.

It's only been a week, Nathalie.

Well, perhaps it's me

that's getting smaller.

So, you two,

well, what do you think of all this?

Moving out of Berlin?

Well, Mummy and Daddy say

it's a good thing,

so I suppose it must be.

Children, be angels, will you?

Pass some food around.

Heil Hitler!


- Doesn't he look wonderful?

- Absolutely.

I'm so proud of you, my boy.

Oh, dear. I sometimes wonder

if this is all down to me,

making you those costumes

for your little plays when you were tiny.

- You used to adore all that dressing up.

- Nathalie...

Does it still make you feel special,

Ralf dear?

The uniform and what it stands for?

Mother, it's a party.

Let's not spoil things.

Me, spoil things?

You should be careful.

Airing your views so publicly

could land you in trouble.

You know that.

So, how long are we losing you for,

my boy?

- Until the war is won, I would think.

- Well, not so long then.


All right, Bruno. Time to say goodbye.

- Bye-bye.

- Bye-bye!

"Time has come for me to sleep

Lord, I thank Thee for Thy keep

"Watch this night well over me

And teach me, Lord, to trust in Thee

"Care for children, sick and poor

Grant them, Lord, Thy blessing more

"And this I pray in Jesus' name

Care for my family just the same"


Children, look. Look! Our new home.

I have some business to take care of.

I'll see you shortly.

Well, what do we think?

Come on. It's lovely.

You two choose your rooms.

I'll have Maria come

and help you unpack.

What do you think of it, Maria?

The new house.

It's not for me to say.

But it won't feel like home

until we make it feel like home, will it?

Is he already up?

Who was that?

One of your father's soldiers,

I suppose.

- He looked very serious.

- Well, they are, aren't they?

- Why are we whispering?

- I don't know.

- And play with who?

- The children over on the farm.

Farm? I didn't see a farm.

And that one, too.

You can only see it from my room.

And there are some children there?

- Yes, quite a few.

- That's good.

- So, I'll be able to play with them.

- I don't see why not.

I'll wait a little bit,

just to see what they're like,

- because they look a bit strange.

- The children do?

- Well, and the farmers.

- What sort of strange?

I'm sorry.



Bruno, have you unpacked everything?

Because I think you should

go back upstairs and finish off.

Thank you, ma'am.


- I told you they were strange.

- Who?

The farmers. They wear pyjamas.

Bruno, I was just

coming to look for you.

Well, thank you for that.

That was extremely useful.

- I'll be over to see you later.

- Of course, Herr Kommandant.

Come in.

Sit down, sit down.

Well, what do you think?

Oh, dear.

I want to go home.

You are home, Bruno.

Home is where the family is.

Isn't that right?

Bruno, you have to at least

give the place a chance.

I promise you,

it won't be long before you...

Why do the farmers wear pyjamas?

I can see them from my window.

The thing is, Bruno, those people...

Well, you see,

they're not really people at all.

Bruno, who told you it was a farm?

- Was it Maria?

- No.

It is a farm, isn't it?


Is it to do with your new job?

All you need to know

about my work here, Bruno,

is that it's very important

to our country and to you.

We're working very hard

to make this world a better place

for you to grow up in.

But you're not a farmer.

You're a soldier.

Bruno, can you come and help me

finish sorting out in the kitchen?

I can still play with them, though?

The children.

I don't think so, Bruno. No.

Like you say, they're a bit strange.

A bit...

Well, they're different.

Don't worry, my darling.

We'll find you some new friends,

but they won't be the ones

from the farm.

Ralf, you promised.

- You said it was miles away.

- It is.

How was I to know he could see it

from the bedroom window?

There was one of them in our kitchen.

- Master Bruno, how are you today?

- Fed up.

You said the same thing

every day for two whole weeks.

- It's true.

- Well, you should be out playing.

- Playing with who?

- I don't know. Gretel?

- Well, you can make your own fun.

- That's what I'm trying to do.

One thing's for sure,

sitting around being miserable

won't make things any happier.

- Bruno, what are you doing?

- Exploring!

No! No, not in the back.

I told you, it's out of bounds.

- Explore at the front.

- But I've explored it all.

- Well, find something else to do.

- Like what?

Come back in now,

and we'll think of something.

So, children,

what are you doing today?

- Same as yesterday.

- And what was that?

- Same as the day before.

- Except you went exploring.

- I like exploring.

- Where did you go?

I wanted to look in the back garden,

but Mum wouldn't let me.

The back garden?

Well, God forbid.

I expect you'll be missing

those friends of yours.

I even miss school.

Well, I never thought

I'd hear you say that.

Anyway, you won't be missing it

for long.

- Really?

- I've arranged a tutor for you both.

A Herr Liszt

will be visiting twice a week.

So we're not going to school?

School's coming here?

On an old bicycle, I gather.

It's a bird without the...

Good morning, little man.

And how are you this morning?

- Can I ask you a favour?

- Well, you can ask.

Are there any spare tyres around?

An old one

from one of the trucks or something?

Well, the only spare tyre

I've seen around here

belongs to Lieutenant Meinberg.

- Well, is he using it?

- Yes, he's very attached to it.

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John Boyne

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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