How do the characters contribute to saving the Rosens and the other escapees?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There are several examples of how the Danish people helped save the Rosens and other escapes.  One of the things they did was to talk in code.  This way, people wouldn't know the topic under discussion.  An example of this was when Uncle Henrik was told to expect a carton of cigarettes.  Another example is when Uncle Henrik says it is a good day for fishing, even though he goes fishing every day.  The cigarettes referred to Ellen's arrival.  The fishing referenced smuggling the Jews to Sweden.  Another example was when the German soldiers burst into the Johansen's apartment where Ellen was staying.   When the soldiers asked why Ellen had dark hair while the other girls had blonde hair, Mr. Johansen explained Ellen's dark hair by showing a baby picture of Lise (a child of the Johansen's who had died earlier) who had dark hair as a baby.  In addition, many of the Danish people helped Jewish families hide when the Germans planned to raid the synagogues on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  A third example is when the Germans invaded the cabin where all were gathered before the Rosens were to be smuggled. They told the soldiers who had arrived the story about the funeral and why the casket was closed.  Since the alleged deceased had died from a deadly and contagious disease, the soldiers didn't open the casket.  Finally, the Danes were willing to smuggle the Jews to Sweden.  It was a short passage between the coast of Denmark and Sweden (about 5 miles), and the Danes would hide Jews in their boats and smuggle them. The Danes often put fish on top of the area where the Jews were hidden since the soldiers didn't like to get their shoes dirty.  The also had a handkerchief with a scent that attracts dogs and dulls the dogs' sense of smell.  This way the dogs couldn't smell the people hiding.  There are many ways the people of Denmark helped the Rosens specifically and the Jews in general. 

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