“Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” – John Betjeman
Do you agree with John? “Not completely,” maybe you’d say. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas began with this quote. You’ll easily get some clues. Whether or not you like kids, you’ll love Bruno. Your sympathies will go to Shmuel. Plus, you’ll get a fresh and crash course in History.
I know it’s foolish to say that the past is better than now. But who doesn’t miss childhood? The license to run wild into the woods, play make-believe games with friends you consider best friends for life, and explore just about any corner of a house or a place to one’s satisfaction? None of us as kids would want to grow up and be old if we knew we’d miss out on life’s fun and friendship as adults.
You’ll notice that I don’t comment much about the hostility of Germans and the horrible fate of Jews. A coworker of mine got offended when I told her that I sympathized with the suffering of Jews at the hands of the Nazis. She reminded me of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, where the Jews (Israelis) mercilessly bombed towers and buildings in Lebanon. I could only gape at her in astonishment (and yeah, out of embarrassment for failing to catch up on my history lessons after graduation).
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