Study Guide

The Nazis in Number the Stars

By Lois Lowry

The Nazis

The Nazis are the bad guys. Clear enough?

But here's the rub. Usually the hero knows who the bad guy is and can work to fight him directly (think Superman and Lex Luther). But in Nazi-occupied Denmark, there is no one bad guy. These evildoers don't even have names. Instead, Annemarie calls them "soldiers" or "officers"—and they seem to travel in packs (for more on this, check out our "Character Roles" section).

We see the Nazis do some pretty nasty stuff: slapping Mrs. Johansen, interrogating an innocent young girl, and killing the heroic Peter. But this doesn't even begin to describe the gruesome atrocities actually committed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. How do you feel about the fact that Lois Lowry shies away from some of these more brutal topics? What do you think are her reasons?