The novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne is set in the 1940s in Nazi Germany and Poland during the Second World War. During this period the Holocaust took place. Atrocities, fear, and inhumanity dominated the daily lives of many people. Jews in particular were mercilessly persecuted by the Nazis, deported to concentration camps, and murdered. The government did everything to ensure that the German population, especially the children, internalized the new ideology. That is why education and the family played a major role in the Third Reich.
John Boyne claimed he wrote this book in two and a half days statements. He calls his novel a fable. Therefore,we will clarify the difference between fable and fairy tale and we will show in what way Boyne's book is a fable. In addition, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas counts as Holocaust literature, which is why this genre and its most important characteristics will be explained. We will then have a look at the reception and criticism of the novel.