What does Ellen say her mother is afraid of in Number the Stars?

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The answer to the question that you are referring to is in chapter 7 of the novel. Annemarie, Kirstin, their mother, and Ellen have traveled to visit her Uncle Henrik in Gilleleje. Annemarie heard her father speaking on the phone to Uncle Henrick after the soldiers came to their apartment...

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The answer to the question that you are referring to is in chapter 7 of the novel. Annemarie, Kirstin, their mother, and Ellen have traveled to visit her Uncle Henrik in Gilleleje. Annemarie heard her father speaking on the phone to Uncle Henrick after the soldiers came to their apartment and almost discovered Ellen. It was only by her father's quick thinking that they were able to trick the soldiers into thinking Lise’s dark-haired baby picture was a young Ellen. Although Annemarie doesn’t entirely understand what her father is talking about over the phone, she is aware that he is speaking in some sort of code and that they must go to keep Ellen safe.

While they are visiting Uncle Henrik, Annemarie and Ellen go for a walk while Annmarie’s mother and sister are in the house. They wind up at the sea. Ellen says she has never been so close to the sea before, and Annmarie cannot believe it. Ellen explains that her mother is afraid of the sea because it is so dark and cold. Annemarie picks up a leaf and talks about how the leaf could have come from so far away. In this way, she is alluding to the potential that an open ocean has to transport people far away, and when thinking about this story, it is easy to see that she needs that the ocean could be an escape to safety.

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