Number the Stars Cover Image

Number the Stars

by Lois Lowry

Start Free Trial

Student Question

Why does Annemarie remove Ellen's gold chain in Number the Stars?

Quick answer:

Annemarie takes off Ellen's gold chain because it has a Star of David, a Jewish symbol, on it and the apartment is being searched by soldiers who are looking for the Rosen family.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In chapter 5 of Lois Lowry's Number the Stars, Annemarie and Ellen are preparing to go to bed, when Annemarie notices that Ellen is wearing a Star of David, a Jewish symbol, on a chain around her neck. Ellen asks Annemarie if she thinks the apartment will be searched, but Annemarie thinks this is unlikely. However, later that night, they are woken by soldiers demanding to know the whereabouts of the Rosen family.

As the soldiers enter Annemarie's room, she tells Ellen to take off her necklace. Ellen fumbles with the clasp, so Annemarie wrenches the chain hurriedly from Ellen's neck. She keeps it in her hand as the soldiers interrogate the girls, and when the soldiers have gone, she finds that she has been clenching it so hard in her fist that her hand bears the imprint of the Star of David.

Before the soldiers arrive, Ellen says to Annemarie that if the apartment is searched, she will pretend to be Annemarie's dead sister, Lise. This is a joke, but, in fact, this is precisely what she has to do, with the Johansens corroborating her story using old photographs. However, if Annemarie had not had the forethought to wrench the Star of David from her neck, all Ellen's acting would have been in vain.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial