Annemarie Johansen's uncle is named Henrik. He is Annemarie's mother's brother. Uncle Henrik is a fisherman and has a house in the far northern part of Denmark. From the edge of the meadow which is part of his property, one can see across the water to Sweden.
When the Nazis occupy Denmark during World War II, it is not long before they threaten the lives of the Jewish population there. The Danish people rally around their Jewish neighbors who must flee for their very lives, taking them in, feeding them, clothing them, and hiding them at great risk to their own well-being. An organized Resistance movement springs up among the Danish people, and it is so effective that it is able to save nearly the entire Jewish population in Denmark, smuggling them across the sea to Sweden. It is this movement in which Uncle Henrik is an active participant.
When the Nazi threat becomes too great, Ellen Rosen is first taken in by the Johansens, and masquerades as their daughter Lise, who reputedly had died in an accident. When the Nazis become suspicious, Mrs. Johansen takes her daughters Annemarie and Kirsti, as well as Ellen, to her brother Henrik's house. There, the girls learn that Henrik is working to help transport the Jews out of Denmark and into Sweden. Ellen and her parents are among those whom Uncle Henrik takes in his boat across the water to safety.