First Time in Russia as a Prisoner

The preparations to form new units ended as quickly as they had begun. The men were then sent to the lines of the prisoners. They marched for several days. It was a 360-kilometer hike to the war prisoners' camp in Poland. From there they began a new hike in December to the middle of nowhere in Russia. About 900 Baltic war prisoners marched, most were Estonians. The trains took them to the Gulag's  infinitely absorbing throat. They ate dried bread and salted fish. The prisoners were very thirsty. Harald was appointed as the carriage leader and so his assignment was to bring the men water when the train stopped. Thanks to that he got to slake his thirst near the pump and this might have saved him.

The train stopped for days. The filth, hunger and cold led things so far that typhus spread among the prisoners. Men started to die massively. After the 69-day long trip from Poland, about 300 men out of 900 were still alive. In Vorkuta, one of the worst worlds of the Gulag camps, men were greeted by a –40 degrees in Celsius cold and all they were wearing was a German soldier's coat made of cotton and shabby overcoats. The cold was their new enemy and it killed them.

In October 1946 a surprise happened, which nobody could have foreseen. The men received a message that they will be taken to Estonia. Something was broken in the mechanisms of the BIG HELL. Nugiseks did not keep it in secret that he was the Knight's Cross recipient, a man who with greater success than any other had battled against the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist "state of fortune". From somewhere came an order to send this group back home. In November 1946 Nugiseks was brought to Narva, from where he was taken to the war prisoners' camp in Jõhvi. There he found out the secret, which had allowed to free the war prisoners born before 1921. He was then sent to the military commissariat in Paide where he was interrogated and released on November 10. He was only allowed to live in his father's farm.