John Boyne, author of the Holocaust novel "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" and its sequel "All the Broken Places." (Photos/JTA-Rich Gilligan-Courtesy of Penguin Random House)
John Boyne, author of the Holocaust novel "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" and its sequel "All the Broken Places." (Photos/JTA-Rich Gilligan-Courtesy of Penguin Random House)

The sequel to the Holocaust novel ‘Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ is here. Its author has no regrets.

At one point in John Boyne’s new novel “All The Broken Places,” a 91-year-old German woman recalls, for the first time, her encounter with a young Jewish boy in the Auschwitz death camp 80 years prior.

“I found him in the warehouse one day. Where they kept all the striped pajamas,” she says.

The woman, Gretel, quickly realizes her mistake: that “this was a phrase peculiar to my brother and me.” She clarifies that she is referring to “the uniforms. … You know the ones I mean.”

Boyne’s readers are, in fact, likely to know what Gretel means, as “All The Broken Places” is a sequel to Boyne’s 2006 international bestseller “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” At a time when other Holocaust books intended for young readers have been challenged or removed from some American schools, the enduring popularity of “Striped Pajamas” has conjured up love and loathing in equal measure for its depiction of Nazi and Jewish youths during the Holocaust. It has sold 11 million copies, appeared in 58 languages and in major motion picture form, and been the only assigned reading about Jews or the Holocaust for countless schoolchildren, mostly in Britain. Yet Holocaust scholars have warned against it, panning it as inaccurate and trafficking in dangerous stereotypes about Jewish weakness.

Andrew Lapin

Andrew Lapin is the Managing Editor for Local News at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

JTA

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