Number the Stars

How does Annemarie use what her uncle has taught her and her observations of Kirsti’s earlier behavior to deal with the German soldiers?

chapters 12-17

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In Chapter Fifteen, Annemarie remembers Kirsti’s interaction with the German soldiers at the beginning of the novel. Kirsti, not understanding the danger the German soldiers posed, had chattered confidently. The soldiers let her go because they did not take her seriously. Annemarie knows she must do the same thing now. When the soldiers ask her what she’s doing, she explains that she’s bringing Uncle Henrik his lunch. The German soldiers ask more questions. If Uncle Henrik forgot his lunch, why doesn’t he eat fish? Why is there no meat in the basket? Annemarie answers each question rudely, just like Kirsti did when speaking with the Giraffe. The soldiers take each item out of the basket and throw it on the ground for their dogs to eat, and Annemarie behaves like a petulant child.

Annemarie becomes a fierce Danish patriot over the course of her novel, following in her family's example. She resents the German soldiers for not bothering to learn Danish, and she frequently vocalizes her admiration for King Christian X. Insulting Denmark is just one way in which the German soldiers try to annoy Annemarie. They say that German women are better than Danish women because they do not spend their time on useless hobbies like embroidering handkerchiefs. However, Uncle Henrik’s comment at the end of the chapter shows that the joke is on the Germans—they may have given his bread to their dogs, but thanks to the "useless hobbies," he has been able to smuggle many Jews out of the country.