The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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Out-With Symbol Icon

“Out-With” is Bruno’s mispronunciation for Auschwitz, the area in Poland where Father moves the family after Hitler “promotes” him to Commandant of the concentration camp. At first, both Bruno and Gretel mispronounce the Polish name, and call it “Out-With.” Gretel theorizes that it means “out with” the old people in charge of the camp, and in with the new—their Father. While Gretel eventually learns how to pronounce Auschwitz, and chastises Bruno for not attempting to say the word correctly, the phrase continues to symbolize what the Holocaust is meant to do—kick out a group of people (Jews, minorities, and Communists) from the rest of society (Germany, and much of Eastern Europe) by imprisoning or slaughtering them.

Out-With Quotes in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The The Boy in the Striped Pajamas quotes below all refer to the symbol of Out-With. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the David Fickling Books edition of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas published in 2007.
Chapter 3 Quotes

“But what does it mean?” he asked in exasperation. “Out with what?”
“Out with the people who lived here before us, I expect,” said Gretel. “It must have to do with the fact that he didn’t do a very good job and someone said out with him and let’s get a man in who can do it right.”
“You mean Father.”

Related Characters: Bruno (speaker), Gretel (speaker), Father
Related Symbols: Out-With
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

Bruno had many friends to play with back in Berlin, but in Auschwitz, he and Gretel only have each other. Though they don't often get along, the one thing the siblings do agree upon is the fact that they miss their old home.

Like Bruno, Gretel is sheltered from the true facts of their father's job. However, being three years older than him, she has a better grasp as to what brought the family to Auschwitz (even though her broader understanding is still limited, as she believes Auschwitz is the name of their new house rather than the camp around it). While she cannot pronounce the name correctly and calls it "Out-With" like Bruno does, she understands that the relocation has something to do with a perceived superiority of one group of people over another. 

Unlike Bruno, Gretel more readily accepts Father's orders. She senses that there is something unpleasant about the nature of Auschwitz, but rather than questioning it, she fully believes that Father has been appointed to fix a pressing problem. Boyne shapes the character of Gretel to represent the Nazi Youth culture that pervaded Germany during this time period, in which young and impressionable children became indoctrinated with the values of the Nazi party and were trained to spread its message without question. 


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Chapter 17 Quotes

He paused for a moment and looked out the window to his left—the window that led off to a view of the camp on the other side of the fence. “When I think about it, perhaps she is right. Perhaps this is not a place for children.”

Related Characters: Father (speaker), Bruno, Gretel, Mother
Related Symbols: Out-With, The Fence
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

One day, Father calls Gretel and Bruno into his office. He explains that he and Mother have been discussing the possibility of returning to Berlin, though he himself would remain at Auschwitz to command the camp. In this quote, Father expresses that Mother has told him that she did not think Auschwitz was a suitable location to raise her family. 

This quote is a rare moment of introspection by Father, a character whom the reader hears about but seldom sees speak. Father is largely characterized as a cold person, a figure whom Bruno longs for more time with and respects, but is also somewhat scared of. Furthermore, as a commander of a concentration camp, Father oversees the torture, starvation, and murder of thousands of people each day. At Mother's urging, he comes to understand that this kind of environment could be toxic to his children. This moment of reflection shows that while he is capable of extremely horrific acts of war, he simultaneously harbors compassion for his family. The stark mental divide many Nazis held between their work and their personal lives was something psychologically studied after the Holocaust, as men who otherwise seemed like decent, moral human beings could commit atrocities while staying sane and otherwise "normal."

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Out-With Symbol Timeline in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The timeline below shows where the symbol Out-With appears in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...is “horrible.” Gretel tells Bruno that Father told her the people who had lived at “Out-With” (which she speculates is the name of the house) before them had not done their... (full context)
Chapter 5
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...a few days before the entire family closed the house in Berlin and left for Out-With. Bruno recalls an official-looking car decorated in red and black flags coming to take them... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Bruno had not yet seen his father since arriving at Out-With. He hears a commotion downstairs and looks down to see Father talking with a group... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...home. Bruno admits that he doesn’t like it, but Father says that he must accept “Out-With” as the family’s new home. (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...no choice in. As the Fury believes Father’s position is important, he must be in Out-With out of duty to his country. Bruno feels tears in his eyes, but Father says... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...the Fury angry, due to the fact that he assigned Father to a job at Out-With, which is much less desirable than Berlin. Father laughs, and explains to Bruno that his... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
...this last remark has been insolent, and that Bruno will have to accept living in Out-With. Bruno shouts that he does not want to accept it. Instead of reacting at all,... (full context)
Chapter 6
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...but then he decides that nobody, not even insects, would voluntarily choose to live at Out-With. Out loud to himself, he says that he hates absolutely everything about their new home.... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...very nice, and decides to stop trying to recruit Maria to his campaign to leave Out-With. Maria looks out the window, and muses that Father has a kindness in his soul,... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...the idea of being alone is even more unpleasant than the idea of staying at Out-With. (full context)
Chapter 7
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
After a few weeks at Out-With, Bruno accepts that he is likely not returning to Berlin anytime soon, and that he... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...a doctor, but Pavel replies that he practiced as a doctor before he came to Out-With. Bruno tells Pavel that he wants to become an explorer, and Pavel wishes him luck.... (full context)
Chapter 8
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...and didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to her before they left for Out-With. He decides to write her a letter, and tells her all about how horrible he... (full context)
Chapter 9
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
For a while, most things at Out-With remain the same—Gretel is unfriendly to Bruno, and Bruno misses Berlin, though his specific memories... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
...able to do in Berlin but has not been able to do since moving to Out-With. He realizes that he misses exploring, and decides to investigate the grounds outside the house.... (full context)
Chapter 12
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Back in the present, Shmuel explains to Bruno how he got to Out-With. He tells Bruno that he used to live with his parents and brother Josef in... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...the soldiers put many people on a train, and the train had taken them to Out-With. Shmuel said there was no room to breathe on the train. Bruno explains that they... (full context)
Chapter 13
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
...to be returning to Berlin any time soon. Eventually, he gets used to life at Out-With, and stops feeling so unhappy. He is glad to find a friend in Shmuel, and... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...Pavel is from Poland, like Shmuel, that he was a doctor before he came to Out-With, and that he helped clean Bruno’s knee. Shmuel replies that the soldiers here don’t like... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...read. Angered, Father points his knife at Bruno and says that the family is in Out-With because they are “correcting history.” Bruno still complains that it is boring, and Gretel tells... (full context)
Chapter 14
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...Shmuel says that that is what they were given to wear when they came to Out-With, and their other clothes were taken away. Bruno says they must have other clothes they... (full context)
Chapter 16
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Bruno feels almost happy when they return to Out-With, since it has now become his home. He realizes it isn’t so bad, now that... (full context)
Chapter 17
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Mother becomes increasingly unhappy with life at Out-With, especially since Kotler, her only friend, has been sent away. Bruno hears Mother and Father... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...summons Gretel and Bruno into his office, and asks them if they are happy at Out-With. Gretel admits she is lonely, and Bruno is unsure what to say. Father says the... (full context)
Chapter 20
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...seems as if he has vanished off the face of the earth. Mother stays in Out-With for some time, hoping Bruno will turn up. When she does return to Berlin, Gretel... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...the weight of his realization. A few months later, “different” kinds of soldiers come to Out-With and order Father to go with them. Still distraught from his realization as to what... (full context)