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Shmuel meets Bruno through a barbed wire fence

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Characters

Bruno listlessly sits on his tyre swing


A nine year old German boy and son of an SS Commandant. He is oblivious to the war and activities at Auschwitz, or 'Out-With', as he mispronounces it.
Shmuel meets Bruno through a barbed wire fence


A nine year old Jewish boy imprisoned at Auschwitz.
The Commandant breaks down, holding his son's discarded clothes when he learns the truth

The Commandant

Father to Bruno and Gretel. He moves his family to Auschwitz, which has been placed under his control.

The Fury

The spectre of Adolf Hitler (the Führer) known to Bruno as ‘The Fury’. Leader of the Nazi party.

Lieutenant Kotler

An arrogant and cruel SS Lieutenant stationed at Auschwitz.


A former doctor and Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz. He works as a servant to Bruno's family.


Mother to Bruno and Gretel. She is blinded by her love for the Commandant but soon becomes horrified by the reality of Auschwitz.


Bruno's 13 year old sister. She is a haughty girl, keen to impress and fawns over Lieutenant Kotler.


Maid to Bruno's family.


Mother to the Commandant and Grandmother to Bruno and Gretel. She strongly disapproves of her son's position and work.


Father to the Commandant and Grandfather to Bruno and Gretel. He is proud of his son's achievements.

Herr Liszt

A tutor assigned by the Commandant to teach his children at home. His lessons are filled with Nazi regime philosophy.