Number the Stars

by

Lois Lowry

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Number the Stars: Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Annemarie and Ellen peer inside the casket together—there is no one in it, and instead it is stuffed with folded blankets and clothing. Peter begins quickly passing the contents of the casket around to the people in the room, warning them that their journey will be cold. Ellen and her family pull shabby, patched coats and jackets around their shoulders, and Mama begins getting together even more spare clothes for the other “mourners”—Danish Jews about to make their escape.
As the full details of what’s happening around her become clear to Annemarie, she realizes just how much was—and is—at stake. Had the Nazis opened the casket, the entire operation would have been blown, and countless lives would have been destroyed.
Themes
Privilege, Sacrifice, and Solidarity  Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
One of the “mourners” is a woman with a baby, and Peter gives her child a few drops of tasteless liquid that will put it to sleep—the group “can’t take a chance” that the baby will cry. Mama passes out food, and then Peter removes a paper-wrapped packet from his own coat and hands it to Mr. Rosen. He tells him to deliver it to Henrik “without fail.” Mr. Rosen accepts the packet with a puzzled look. Though he doesn’t seem to know what it contains, he doesn’t ask about it. Annemarie realizes that the members of their group are “protect[ing] one another by not telling” each other things that will frighten them, distract them, or keep them from being brave.
Peter is serious and methodical as he prepares the group of Jews for their long journey. He knows that any small slip-up could result in the ruin of the entire operation, and is determined to safeguard the group as well as possible in order to ensure the success not just of their escape, but the escape of groups still to come.
Themes
Privilege, Sacrifice, and Solidarity  Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
Peter heads out with the first group, and instructs Mrs. Johansen to set out with the Ellen and Mrs. Rosen and follow him after twenty minutes have passed so that there is less of a chance they’ll all be seen. Peter tells Annemarie that he won’t see her again tonight—after he drops his group at the boat, he has “other work” to do tonight. He hugs Annemarie and Mrs. Johansen, too, and then heads out with his group.
Peter is brave, but also skillful. It’s clear that this is not his first journey, or his last. His determination, bravery, and willingness to use his privilege to help innocent Jews survive the war are evident, and make a strong impression on Annemarie, who is desperate to be brave and helpful too.
Themes
Privilege, Sacrifice, and Solidarity  Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
Just a few moments after they all set out, a noise comes from outside. Mama looks out the window and says that Mr. Rosen has simply stumbled—he is not hurt, she says, though she jokes that perhaps his pride has taken a hit. As Annemarie looks at the frightened Ellen and Mrs. Rosen, huddled together on the sofa and bundled up in rags, she wonders what “sources of pride” the Rosens, and the other Jews, have left. They have nothing of their own with them.
Annemarie realizes for the first time just how much the Rosens are losing, and how persecuted they are their fellow Jews really are. Annemarie wonders how they can be brave or hopeful in such a miserable time.
Themes
Bravery Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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Annemarie has intuited what is going to happen to Mr. Rosen and Mrs. Rosen, though no one has explicitly told her: Henrik is going to smuggle them across the narrow sea to Sweden. Though the Rosens seem frightened, as she looks at her neighbors, she is surprised to see that their shoulders are straight despite all the fear that lies ahead of them. Annemarie realizes that they have “other sources, too, of pride, and [have] not left everything behind” after all.
Annemarie at last realizes that perhaps the Rosens’ hope comes from the fact that so many people in their extended community are committed to helping them see freedom. Pride comes from more than material wealth or even personal bravery—the love and support of others can help one feel pride and hope even in the darkest of moments.
Themes
Privilege, Sacrifice, and Solidarity  Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon