What is the resistance? In Lois Lowry's novel Number the Stars, what is "the resistance"?

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In the novel, the Resistance is a group of Danish men and women who band together to fight the German war machine.

The text tells us that the Resistance published De Frie Danske (The Free Danes), an illegal newspaper that reports news about Danish exploits against the Nazis. The Danish freedom fighters focus on sabotaging industrial railroad lines, factories, and German trucks and cars. The text also tells us that the Resistance is committed to bringing harm to the Nazi cause. However, it is also dangerous to be a part of the group. Anyone who is caught is summarily executed.

In the story, Annemarie knows that her parents read De Frie Danske in secret. Eventually, she discovers that Peter (her sister Lise's former fiance) is also a member of the group. Uncle Henrik explains that Peter works with him to take Jews to Gilleleje. In fact, Peter regularly brings copies of De Frie Danske to Annemarie's parents.

As the story ends, Annemarie discovers that Ilse was part of the Resistance. She died after Nazi soldiers raided the group's secret meeting place. Annemarie's mother confirms that Ilse was mowed down by Nazi soldiers in a military vehicle.

Historically, the Danish Resistance was a real movement. Many of the fighters were young, much like Peter and Ilse. They gave their lives for a worthy cause: freedom.

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During the second World War, some people in occupied countries such as France, The Netherlands, and Denmark resisted Nazi forces. These brave men and women met secretly and planned ways to thwart the German army's efforts to round up Europe's Jews and others.

Many of the techniques described in Lowry's book are historically accurate. Denmark in particular was highly successful in protecting its Jewish population, both by transporting Jews out of the country and hiding them in their homes.  Sadly, many in the resistance paid for their bravery with their lives, as Peter and Anne Marie's sister do in the story.

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