In addition, social classes are presented through the different ranks of the SS officers found at the concentration camp, where Bruno’s father is the head. Through the different ranks, there is clarity that different people exist in the society, and that their responsibilities are different considering that Bruno’s father follows orders without questioning. Another aspect of social classes is represented in punishment meted out against lieutenant Kotler for not reporting for duty, where he is sent to the front line ("The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”). The punishment shows that different social classes have their distinct duties and failure to meet is punishable. The house cleaners and other servants, such as Maria, are indicative of these as they have no say in the house and only follow instructions.
In addition, absolute control by the government is expressed in the film through the Nazi government and how it seeks to enforce its rule on the Jewish population that it has in concentration camps. The totalitarian nature of the government is also brought out through the arguments held between Bruno’s father and mother, where the mother argues against having their children grow up in a concentration camp. The response of Ralf, Bruno’s father, are that what he does is part of work and that he cannot do anything about it (Boyne). This shows the grip that the government has on the people, both Jews and Germans. In addition, lieutenant Kotler holds extremist Nazi views and opinions although he does not have a pro-Nazi background, which is a further indicator of how the grip of the government goes.
In elements of innocence, the friendship between Bruno and Shmuel stands for this due to the enmity that exists between Jews and Germans, which is why the Germans live a free life, while Jews live in concentration camps. As a result, having this friendship and Bruno forgetting the names of his best friends only