Summary: Chapter 5

Bruno decided to speak with Father. He recalled that Father had left Berlin a few days early, leaving the rest of the family to finish packing up the house. As they left the house for the last time, Mother had stood in the empty hallway, shaken her head, and said, “We should never have let the Fury come to dinner.” Maria had been standing behind Mother when she said this. When Mother noticed the maid there, she grew afraid and tried to explain herself.

An official car drove Bruno, Gretel, and Mother to the train station, where they boarded a luxurious train car with only a few other passengers. Another train stood across the platform. It was heading in the same direction but had many passengers. Bruno wondered why some of the passengers didn’t board his train instead.

Bruno hadn’t seen Father much since arriving at Out-With since Father was always busy and surrounded by soldiers. Another group of soldiers was just leaving as Bruno approached Father’s office. When Bruno entered, Father seemed glad to see him. He asked Bruno what he thought about the family’s new home. Bruno said he didn’t like it and wanted to go home. Father insisted that home was wherever one’s family lived.

Despite Father’s attempts to convince him to give Out-With a chance, Bruno persisted in expressing his disapproval. He even asked if Father had done something wrong in his job and suggested that he could make things right by apologizing to the Fury. Father grew impatient and told Bruno once more to accept his new reality. Before leaving, Bruno asked Father who the people outside his window were. Father answered that those people were “not people at all” and that he needn’t worry about them. Bruno lifted his right arm in salute, said “Heil Hitler,” and left Father’s office.

Summary: Chapter 6

Some days later, Bruno lay on his bed looking at the cracked paint on his bedroom ceiling. He was complaining aloud to himself about how much he hated the new house when Maria walked in with a pile of clean clothes. Bruno had known Maria since he was three years old, and she had always been kind, quiet, and a diligent worker. Lonely and with no one else to talk to, Bruno asked Maria if she hated Out-With as much as he did. Maria silently considered her response then told Bruno that she used to enjoy the garden at the Berlin house, where she would sit in the sun to eat her lunch. Bruno tried to confirm this meant she hated the new house. When Maria said it wasn’t important what she thought, Bruno insisted it did because she was part of the family, and if the whole family wanted to go home to Berlin, then Father might relent.

Maria told Bruno that Father knew what was best and that she knew him to be a good man. She explained that Father had shown her great kindness in a time of trouble when she had needed a home, a job, and food. Maria’s mother had once worked as a seamstress for Father’s mother, accompanying her on concert tours. When Maria’s mother grew sick, Father paid for her medical expenses and hired Maria to work for him. When her mother died, he paid for the funeral. It was for these reasons, Maria told Bruno, that she would not say a bad word about Father. She told Bruno he should keep his feelings to himself and his head down until everything was over.