The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: Names (Auschwitz / Out-With etc)

Wishfull

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello.
I'm reading a English translation book named "The boy in the striped Pajamas."
In that book, there are a lot of expression; "Out-With", which I suppose to be the name of a place.
Is there any relation between Out-With and Aushwitz?

Thank you.
 
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  • Sowka

    Forera und Moderatorin
    German, Northern Germany
    Hello Wishfull :)

    You are right: The fictional name Out-With is a play on the word Auschwitz.

    His father seems to be a very important part in his job. After the visit from Hitler he gets a different title, 'Commandant', and to Bruno's sadness the family have to move away to a place called Out-With.
    source for both instances: Wikipedia
     

    Wishfull

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Hello.
    I thought "ausch" means "out" and "witz" means "with" in German.
    Thanks to Sowka, I now know that they are a pun, just resemblance of sound, and there is no word-to-word correspondence.

    By the way, I would like to know another pun, the "Fury", which probably means Hitler.
    What is Fury?

    Danke.
     

    Sowka

    Forera und Moderatorin
    German, Northern Germany
    Hello Wishfull :)

    I can't think of any link on the word level between "Hitler" and "Fury".

    In general, "fury" is rage, madness, violence -- a whole scope of meanings. I think that this name makes reference to these properties of the personality in question.
     

    mitsahne

    New Member
    English - British
    The pun works in English, and the book was written in English, however the commandant and his family would have all been speaking German. So is it an oversight by the author, or does this pun resonate in German?
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    I don't think it would resonate very well in German, just because the terms and their associations are too loaded by History.
    A language not associated with all that would do better here, I'd think.
    Also, German doesn't have that easy relationship with 'punnishness' which English does.
     

    mitsahne

    New Member
    English - British
    Hi, thanks for picking up the thread after 10 years.. I only just read this book... The thing that bugs me is the author's blithe reporting of the boy's miscomprehensions (that everyone's saying 'outwith´ and 'the fury' when in fact it's Auschwitz and the Fuhrer) when in fact these correlations don't work in German, the language the narrator (and his father, mother, guards etc.. ) must be assumed to be speaking. Hence my enquiry about if the puns (or equivalent puns) work in German. The fact these words find an erroneous resonance with the boy allows him to remain clueless as to their more sinister meaning for the length of the novel- why he's ultimately willing to change places with the Polish boy.. but if the puns don't work in German then what the hell was he thinking?
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    'Auschwitz' as such is a strange, meaningless word beyond of what it has acquired through History (in the case of 'fury' adults would be aware of the double-entendre).
    It seems ok to me to have the boy hear 'out-with' which is just as meaningless to him but at least uses words he has heard - just to demonstrate his cluelessness ( is it narrated from his view?)
    A German translation would have to come come up with another solution, unless they simply separated it into two known words: 'au - schwitz'.
     
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    Thomas(CH)

    Senior Member
    German - Switzerland
    The thing that bugs me is the author's blithe reporting of the boy's miscomprehensions (that everyone's saying 'outwith´ and 'the fury' when in fact it's Auschwitz and the Fuhrer) when in fact these correlations don't work in German, the language the narrator (and his father, mother, guards etc.. ) must be assumed to be speaking.
    There is no realistic "feel" to 80% of the movies and books about this subject, especially not in foreign productions.
     
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