“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
“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.”
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.”