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Themes

This one kind of goes without saying, don't you think? The Holocaust was all about prejudice. The Nazis judged and persecuted people based on their race and religion. But while the Nazis singled out Jews because of their differences, the Johansens and the Rosens are friends in spite of their differences. The connection between these two families in Number the Stars reminds us just how pointless (and baseless) prejudice really is.

Questions About Prejudice

  1. Of course the Nazis are prejudiced against Jews, but are there any other forms of prejudice in Number the Stars?
  2. What specific moments in the novel prove that Annemarie is not prejudiced against people who are different from her?
  3. How can you apply the lessons of acceptance you learn from Annemarie to your own life? What kind of prejudice still exists today? And how do you feel about it?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In Number the Stars, religious difference seems so normal for so many of the characters. This emphasizes the absurdity of the Nazis' desire to punish people because of their religion.

Annemarie and her family are not in any danger from the Nazis until they decide to help the Rosens. In a way, they choose to share in their friends' persecution and danger.

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