Jtube: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Can we blame children for hating, just as their parents did?

Can we blame children for hating, just as their parents did?

This video encourages the discussion of Jewish values as they relate to contemporary culture. Jewlarious does not endorse any particular film.

Comments (29)

(27) DorothyFrancesGoldstein, March 1, 2012 4:18 PM

READ this book!

Did anyone READ this book? The character of Bruno did not grow up hating. In fact he was open to learning all he could about his new friend and his refusal to be caught up in his father's devotion to "The Fury" ended up costing him dearly.

Linda, July 31, 2012 2:04 PM

re READ this book

Yes, I think a lot of people missed the point. And many were disappointed by the weird ending.

(26) Richard Steinhart, August 2, 2011 12:37 PM

Obviously details are inaccurate but the message is perfect.

Obviously details are inaccurate but the message is perfect. When did the accursed Germans ever speak such perfect English in their homes between themselves? However, their cold, inhuman middos (character traits) are sadly multi-national and express themselves in various people who have allowed selfish cruelty to be their guide of behaviour in life. Let us all be warned not to allow ourselves, G-d forbid, to emulate the thoughts and behaviour of such beasts in our lives. Recent sad events between our own people have sadly shown what happens when people do not remain on their guard and allow bad middos to creep into their behaviour.

(25) Yehoshua, October 21, 2009 11:35 AM

Alicia...know your Bible before you quote it!

The verse in proverbs states: "Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he matures he will not depart from it". We as adults have a mission in life and that is to lead exemplary and moral lives not just for ourselves but for our family , friends and God (not necessarily in the proper order). Our kids learn from our actions and even thoughts w/o us realizing it. True all things are from God for us to be tested and improve ourselves as His Creation, yet evil which the nazi's created (and lasts till this day) should be obliterated (Psalms: Those who hate you God, I hate as well). The German boy was killed together with the Jewish boy, many million other children were killed as well because their parents didn't teach them right from wrong. Maybe it's time we realize that education starts not i the schools or the media, but the moment our children are born, and even before that!

(24) Yehoshua Cirt, October 13, 2009 2:30 PM

This movie is not right and is very sureal.

Imagine-- children living in the murder camps-- no way! they were murdered immediately! And where is the stench? The German boy had to be throwing up when ever he came near. This is a rather pretty movie, don't you think? I mean, it's pretty tame and palatable. The Shoah was not tame... But then again, if this movie had any real authentacy, then it would not be for family viewing, would it?

(23) Steve Gioldstein, October 13, 2009 9:38 AM


The issue here is not "Can we blame children for hating, just as their parents did?" The German child did not hate, he was rather a coward who lied and betrayed his friend. So yes, he should be held fully to blame for that behavior.

Richard Steinhart, September 12, 2011 12:58 PM

Yes he was a coward

The "German" boy was a spineless coward, but then he was frighteningly intimidated by a big beast. Who can be blamed for what is hard for us to know. I suppose only The Ribono Shel Olam decides who is blameworthy and who will be punished...and how. Time certainly will tell....

(22) Anonymous, October 11, 2009 8:01 AM


Although there are a lot of exceptions to the rule, the talmud says it clear, "halacha: Esav sone et Yaacov", Esav hates Yaacov. No wonder that in all of Europe and America we see this. Either we feel it as antisemitism, or we don't feel it... and we intermarry, among other tragedies. But the holocaust let us see the truth for a short time: Israel stood alone (with Ribono shel Olam), a sheep amongst 70 wolves. Now is the time to stand united and convince ourselves that only He can save us, as a people, as a country, as His representatives in this world, in Eretz Israel. Harsh but true (usually the truth can hurt... sorry if I hurt anyone)

(21) Anonymous, October 8, 2009 4:04 PM

it did its purpose

not everything Jewlarious shows is funny...some things just want us to think. this is one of them. we can not comprehend a true concentration camp. we have a hard time understanding hate. this just gives us a taste....but such a bitter taste.

(20) Alicia (means noble), October 2, 2009 3:16 PM

"The Emotional Flavor of Choice"

"Can we blame children for hating just as their parents did?" This question is a hard question to answer. As I was watching the clip, I had a variety of emotions that came over me. I felt anger when The soldier was telling the boy that some people aren't people. I felt discuss when the boy said that the videos he had seen showed a "nice" camp or a place to "play". I felt...I tasted a dry, bitter uneasiness in my mouth when the young German lied before the young Jew and 'punked out' before the German solider. I felt heat behind my eyes when I saw the young Jew's face as a result of the German's lie. And when the Jewish boy forgave the German boy for his betrayal, and accepted his friendship I felt proud. I say these things b/c I as an African can relate to how the boy felt. The discuss, the betrayal, the quietness that follows a question, birthed from ignorance & stupidity, I can relate to being young and taught to hate and then left with a choice. Love 'them' or hate 'them'. Fellowship with 'them' or shun 'them'. The scripture's say bring up a child in the ways of Him in heaven, and he will go back to what he was taught. The young Jew had a choice to forgive or to hate; he chose to please G-d. There are adults that can't come to terms with such a holy call of duty. Was it the boy that chose to obey God, or was it his parents? It was the boy himself that ultimately gave his heart to that German. That is something he himself had to choose to do own his own no matter what he was told physically to do. Act 17:22-25 says that all things happen so that we ultimately will come to the knowledge of G-d. We all have a choice.

(19) Anonymous, October 1, 2009 7:42 PM

A Purim story

I have been thinking why this movie has been included in Jewlarious.It is because it is one big laugh.Black humour I admit.Everything like in Purim is upside down.The child chosen as the prisoner has a nice round chubby face in contrast to the well fed one.The children are sitting next to an electrified fence passing food through it? If one child can dig his way under the fence to get in,why cant the other dig his way out to freedom? The story is a farce,with a very nasty undercover agender to make light of the holocaust.

(18) EVA, September 30, 2009 8:12 PM

This is a whitewash

You have asked the wrong question.The whole German nation was immersed in viscious anti semitism which was not hidden from the children.A child of 8 would have already been taught to hate Jews. The book and the movie are a cover up of the real attrocities that occured in the holocaust.

(17) Akiva Crown, September 27, 2009 4:59 PM

Just a movie clip with a point.

There is no need to comment on how this clip didn't represent the actual Holocaust. That is not the question or the point. I think it is a powerful question and the clip leads into the question nicely. The clip is not misleading Josiah in any way. And to answer the question, as is the point of JTube, I think we can only blame the children when they become adults and have not adopted morality for themselves, no matter how difficult that might be given their upbringing. Gmar Chatima Tova!

(16) esther, September 27, 2009 4:56 PM

the movie didn't show what concentration camps were like at all..such a hollywood movie...

(15) Anonymous, September 25, 2009 7:29 PM

i agree with Josiah Egersund-Philipp that its really misleading and the torture was much worse!

(14) Anonymous, September 25, 2009 5:27 PM

scary movie

i saw this movie and i was freaked. i could not sleep that nite but its a very good movie.

(13) Anonymous, September 24, 2009 2:15 AM

boy in the pj's

i saw the movie...and it was a hollywood movie we must remember however the theme was basically about friendship between two boys and the misunderstanding of what was going on in the world on the german boy's part...while being indoctrinated by his father and tutor to hate...which cause him to turn on his jewish friend and feeling guilty about what he did...so he tries to make it up to the boy by joining him in the camp but God takes revenge on those to hate and takes from the german family what they are taking from the jewish families...the most precious gift...their children...it was a movie but also a look into the eyes of children...it does not matter if it was true or not...it was emotional and a view into two families and how they dealt with an awful time in mankind's history

(12) Anonymous, September 24, 2009 12:50 AM

we learm from our parents first

Just as we learn to talk and behave from our parents we learn love and compassion or hate and disgust from them before we even go to school. Then it get even stronger when the children bring to school the bad "knowledge they are feed at home and at the church for centannaries or at the mosques now" The clip is not sticking to what was the reallty back in the holocaust time, but it suppose to teach a lesson to the ignorant society. It had been misplaced into jewlarious though. No need to show how more atrocious it was. This is already enough. To compare Lashon Hara or misconduct that human being are doing to each other, to the reality of what the Nazi done to the Jews is not compatible. To compare what the Israelis impose to the "palestinians" as a nazi's behaviour is also wrong. Who dare to say that and fight against our own people for the palestinians don't know nothing about our history or what was the Holocaust. The "palestinian" have the possibility to end the conflict tomorrow morning, the palestinians have arms and are threatening the israelis day after day, they take hostages and they kill us without distinction, man woman children. The Jews in the time of the Shoha were reduced to nothing as humans, no rights to protest, just to dig their grave and been shot to death. No United Ntion or Red Cross or EU organizations or other "jewish Countries" were there to defend them and pushed millions of dollars to help them to live. Now everybody have a bleeding heart for the Palestinians, but only few decades ago De Gaulle put an embargo on aircraft parts for the planes they had sold to the Israelis trying to put them to the mercy of their ennemies. Why ? it was after the holocaust.... and still the Jews/Israelis were left with no rights to be like others. We have a short memory which will bring us to the next cataclysme which will be watch by the nations which will stand doing nothing.

(11) Anonymous, September 24, 2009 12:36 AM

forgiveness is one thing we are here to give.

tough film. great to forgive no matter what.

(10) Anonymous, September 23, 2009 4:55 PM

No child of that dreadfull era came out as a whole person.I did not.I'm 71 now and still hurt as I am from Poland and will never forget!

(9) Josiah Egersund-Philipp, September 23, 2009 12:14 AM


I did not see this film, but from this clip, it seems misleading. 1 - If "Shmuel" was really 8, he would not be woorking. He would be gassed. 2 - Prisoners did NOT have their identifying numbers so benignly sewn on to their uniforms. The numbers were tattooed into the flesh. 3 - When "Shmuel" 'stole' food, he was rewarded with multiple punches to the face. If a Jude were to steal food during the Nazi regime, he would be tortured, and then hanged. This film does not do justice to the atrocities the Himmlerian brutes did to the Jews during WWII.

(8) Yedidah, September 22, 2009 3:55 PM

The Child is only Eight!

I agree with Rurh.

(7) Mordechai, September 22, 2009 3:13 PM

There's no right answer to this question

Children are thinking responsible people just like the rest of us, but to a lesser degree. They tend to base their thoughts on much of what they've experienced, but they do think for themselves to some extent. We certainly expect them to have some level of responsibility depending on their stage of development. This film clip cuts to the core of the issue with the German child struggling between his relationship with a friend and his relationship with someone his role models hate. It seems the producers of the film have portrayed the German child as one who thinks for himself in befriending the Jew, but out of fear denies his friendship. We can't expect this child to rise above that fear, although it's not unheard of. If he would have rised above the fear it would most likely be a result of observing such heroism in his upbringing. Overall, this is a very troubling clip and I'm really not sure why it's on Jewlarious - there's not an ounce of humor in this!

(6) David, September 22, 2009 11:06 AM


A Bar Mitzvah is when a child turns 13 years old. He is then a man according Jewish law and basically has the obligations of a Jewish man in regard to all the laws.

(5) rurh, September 22, 2009 3:19 AM


The young son of 8 reacted as a child can, and I believe there is no blame for children who hate or love. There is only judgement for the parents.

(4) Rosen, September 22, 2009 1:51 AM

children don't just learn hate from their parents

Children don't just learn any hate and prejudices that they may have - it has to do with their overall surroundings and what they are exposed to with their friends and bullies. Hate can especially be learned in the mainstream media such as right-wing talking heads that encourage their audiences that it is okay to act out of hostility and condone going after those they disagree with, even with a lack of truth or thoughtfulness. It's just a bunch of baseless hatred when people don't know all the facts and fail to see one another eye-to-eye. That's how easy it can be to judge and pre-judge those different from the other and not bother listening to the other side of the situation. I've learned that it is important to judge others favorably, as opposed to arbitrary fear of those different from another.

(3) Rachel, September 21, 2009 9:02 PM


Not when in todays day Jews are hurting other jews, and bairly ever coming back to say "sorry" or even feeling bad about what they did to one onother. How are children going to learn not to hate, when adults speak lushon hara infront of them.

(2) Avi, September 21, 2009 1:48 PM


He's 8. I disagree with #1

(1) me, September 21, 2009 12:11 PM


we can blame because they have their own choice and if they think to themselves they will see that their parents were wrong!!!!!!!!!!!


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