The Boy in Striped Pyjamas

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Boy in StripedThe Boy in Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Check out this 2006 novel set in 1942 and written from the point of view of a young boy, Bruno, who decides to find out what is happening at "Out-With" (Auschwitz).  From the bedroom window of his new family home in Poland he can see a fence behind which everyone is dressed in what looks like striped pyjamas. While exploring this new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

John Boyne is an Irish novelist. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia , where he was awarded the Curtis Brown prize. is the author of seven novels, as well as a number of short stories which have been published in various anthologies and broadcast on radio and television. His novels are published in over 40 languages.  The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which to date has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and a film adaptation was released in September 2008.

Children at AuschwitzAuschwitz-Birkenau was the largest of Nazi Germany's concentration and extermination camps, established in Nazi Occupied Poland.  Rudolf Hoss, the camp commander, testified at the Nuremberg Trials that up to 3 million people had died in the camp. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum has revised this figure to 1.1 million, the majority Jews from almost every country in Europe.  On the basis of the partially preserved camp records and estimates, it has been established that there were approximately 232 thousand children and young people up to the age of 18 among the 1.3 million or more people deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

Today Aushwitz-Birkenau is a museum.