In Number the Stars, what did Ellen remove when the Nazi soldiers came?

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

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When the Nazi soldiers arrived, Ellen removed her Star of David.  The Star of David is a visible sign of being Jewish.  Ellen understood her safety depended on being able to remove this symbol.  The Nazis were hunting down Jewish people throughout Europe.  This was also true in Denmark.  When Jews were rounded up, they were usually sent to concentration camps.  Parents and children were usually split upon arriving at these camps.  In the camps, the prisoners were forced to work very hard.  Some prisoners were used in medical experiments.  There was little food.  Malnutrition and disease were common.  Many people died from these conditions.  Eventually, the concentration camps turned to extermination camps.  The Germans tried to kill as many Jews as possible before the end of the war.  Ellen knew her life depended on removing the Star of David.  She tried to remove it, but she had trouble undoing the clasp of the necklace.  Finally, her good friend Annemarie yanked it off her neck before the soldiers entered their room.  Removing the Star of David saved Ellen's life.

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