After Kirsti is in bed, Mr. Johansen explains to Annemarie what has happened. He says, "I wish that I could protect you children from this knowledge." In synagogue, the rabbi announced that the Nazis had lists of all the Jews and that they might come to take them away. Annemarie cannot believe it and wants to know where they would take them. Peter has taken Ellen's parents to a safe hiding place and the Johansens will hide Ellen in the apartment by pretending that she is one of the daughters of the family. Mr. Johansen tells the girls not to be afraid, saying he had three daughters before and he is glad to once more.


Though Annemarie is very aware for her age, she does not understand much about the war in the beginning of the novel. Her discovery that Mrs. Hirsch's shop has closed leads to more information than she was prepared to know. To Annemarie, the actions of the Germans seem nonsensical. When Peter and her parents explain that the Germans are closing Jewish-owned shops, it does not make sense to her. She wonders what harm a button shop could do. Though this is naïve in one way, it is also an example of how seeing war through a child's eyes can be illuminating. Annemarie is right: a button shop can do no harm. In her childishness, she points out how horrifyingly senseless the Nazis' actions are. To Annemarie, it seems clear that the Rosens will be fine since they do not own a shop. This also sheds light on the absurdity of the Nazi ethos. Annemarie cannot connect the torment of the Hirsches to the fact that they are Jewish. Such an explanation is so outlandish that it does not cross her mind.

The present that Peter Neilsen brings for Annemarie foreshadows later events. The seashell holds special significance, since it hints at the fact that Peter has been helping Jews escape to Sweden by boat. The seashell is also symbolic of the voyage that Annemarie will have to make from her child self to a more grown- up self.

As the potential danger moves closer to her existence, Annemarie must reevaluate her thoughts about courage. When the danger was at bay, and Annemarie still understood very little, she felt sure she could die for her country. But as she grows older and the danger grows closer, she is not so sure. As the possibility that she will need to be courageous grows stronger, Annemarie is less positive about her abilities. Her definite faith in herself is replaced by a more adult sensation of fear. To rid herself of this emotion, Annemarie dismisses the idea that she will ever be in a situation where her bravery will matter. In the comfort of her bed, she assures herself that people only have to make life or death choices in fairy tales. This thought reinforces the idea that the war is largely unreal for Annemarie.

The game the girls play with dolls is a normal children's amusement, but it is also a reflection of their own lives. Gone With the Wind is also the story of a war. Though it takes place in a different era and a different country, choosing to insert Margaret Mitchell's famous drama into Number the Stars is a way of making a statement about war in general. Lowry suggests that whether you are a young woman in Denmark, like Annemarie, or a young woman in America, like Scarlett, the experience of living through war is universally difficult. Just as Scarlett must set aside her high society ways and her girlish ideals to face the Civil War, so Annemarie must change her life and grow up unnaturally fast. The girls' playing also makes a statement about war as a game. Annemarie and Ellen play at war just as a war is a game on a great and terrible scale for the leaders involved. The girls' game ends abruptly when Annemarie remember the real life events that have occurred. Playing is shown as being incompatible with serious matters. As soon as she remembers the night Kirsti describes, Annemarie does not want to play anymore.

The Jewish New Year is mentioned in passing, but it is an important mention. Lowry uses it as a device to show Ellen's relationship to her religion. Ellen is open and willing to share her customs with her friends. To these children, the differences between their lives and religions are a source of interest, not of division. Ellen invites the girls to come watch her mother light the candles for the holiday. This is an exciting event for everyone to share. The anticipation of the shared holiday serves to make the Rosen's departure even more painful. Not only must they flee, they must flee on a day of religious celebration.