The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Character List


The nine-year-old protagonist of the story. He moves with his family from their home in Berlin to Out-With, where Father has taken a new job.


The maid who moves to Out-With with Bruno's family. Her mother worked as Father's mother's seamstress, and Father offered her a job when she was destitute.


Bruno and Gretl's mother is "a tall woman with long red hair" (1) who quietly resents having to move her family to Out-With.


The butler for Bruno's family while they live in Berlin.

The Fury

Bruno's mishearing of the Furor, or Adolf Hitler. He is Father's boss and appoints Father to work at Out-With. Bruno meets the Fury when he and Eva come to dinner at Bruno's family's home in Berlin. He is described as "far shorter than Father" with "dark hair, which was cut quite short, and a tiny moustache" (121). Bruno finds him very rude.


One of Bruno's school friends in Berlin, whose father is a greengrocer.


One of Bruno's school friends in Berlin, whose father is a teacher.


One of Bruno's school friends in Berlin, whose father is a chef.


An old man who prepares meals and waits on Bruno's family at Out-With. He is a former doctor and now a prisoner at Out-With. He is described as "quite a small man, and very skinny too, with long fingers and angular features" (83).

Lieutenant Kotler

One of the Nazi soldiers stationed at Out-With. He has "very blonde hair, an almost unnatural shade of yellow" (18). Gretl develops a crush on him, and it is implied that he is carrying on an affair with Mother. He is cruel and Bruno doesn't like him.


Bruno's older sister, who is twelve years old when the story begins. Over the course of the story, she goes from playing with her dolls all day to keeping track of the progress of the war with maps and studying German history.


One of Gretel's school friends in Berlin.


One of Gretel's school friends in Berlin.


One of Gretel's school friends in Berlin.

Herr Roller

A man whom Bruno remembers as being mad, who lived on the same street as his family in Berlin. Mother tells Bruno that before suffering a head injury during the Great War, Herr Roller had loved to dance.

Herr Liszt

The tutor whom Father hires to teach Gretl and Bruno about German history and geography. He is determined to indoctrinate the children with the ideas of the Nazi party.


Bruno's father's father ran a restaurant in the center of Berlin for most of his life. He was supportive of Father's promotion to Commandant.


Bruno's father's mother is sixty-two with "long red hair and green eyes" (87). She is a retired singer and when Bruno's family lived in Berlin, she would put on plays with Gretl and Bruno during parties. She is furious to find out about Father's promotion to Commandant and storms out of the house during a Christmas party.


The boy Bruno meets through the fence at Out-With. He is a prisoner and must wear the "striped pajamas" all the other prisoners wear. He shares a birthday with Bruno and they become friends.


One of the boys in the family that shared a one-room apartment with Shmuel's family in the Cracow ghetto. He physically bullied Shmuel.


Shmuel's brother.


The woman who accompanies the Fury to dinner at Bruno's family's home in Berlin. Bruno describes her as "quite the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life," with "blonde hair and very red lips" (121). She is based on the real-life Eva Braun, Hitler's long-time companion.


As the story begins, Bruno's father has been appointed to run Auschwitz. He is kind to Bruno and Gretel but cruel and narrow-minded.