In Number the Stars, what was so puzzling about Papa and uncle Henrick's conversation? What did papa actually mean when he talked about "cigarettes"?

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What's puzzling about the conversation is that Papa and Uncle Henrik appear to be speaking in riddles. They talk about fetching cartons of cigarettes from Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. That's not what they mean, of course. When they talk about "cartons of cigarettes," they're actually referring to Jewish refugees they're planning to smuggle to safety across to Sweden.

Though it may be puzzling to Annemarie, such oblique language is absolutely essential. The Nazis have eyes and ears everywhere. For all Papa and Uncle Hendrik know, the Nazis could be listening in to their conversations at any moment. And if the Nazis find out what the men are up to, then they and the Jewish refugees will be in serious danger. So there's no alternative but to speak about this risky venture in a kind of secret code that the Nazis won't understand.

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Annemarie's uncle, Henrik, is a fisherman.  He also helps Jews escape from Denmark to Sweden in his fishing boat.  This activity is illegal due to the Nazi occupation of Denmark.  Because it is illegal, Uncle Henrik must work in secret.  On the telephone, he talks to Annemarie's papa in code.  Papa tells Uncle Henrik that Annemarie, her mama, and her sister will be coming to visit him.  Papa says that they will be bringing "a carton of cigarettes."  He goes on to tell Uncle Henrik that "there are a lot of cigarettes available in Copenhagen."  When Papa mentions a carton of cigarettes, he is talking about Jews from Copenhagen who want to escape into Sweden.  Annemarie overhears their conversation and she is confused because cigarettes are no longer available at the stores in Copenhagen.  Then she realizes that Papa is talking about Ellen and her parents.

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