In Estonian Legion, Heidelager and Junior Officers' School in Lauenburg

In August 1942 the formation of Estonian Legion began on the initiative of many men. Already the name seemed appealing. It was theirs. Nugiseks made a decision – he too had to join the Legion. New buildings were built in Vanaõue. This land, father, mother, sister, the whole Estonia needed protection. And who else had to protect it than not the young men of this land? This was the idea that spread in Estonia at that time and it had no alternative. "We joined the German Wehrmacht voluntarily in autumn with a big group from the Paide Trade School, that's how it happened. Everyone had someone in their family who had been deported or killed by the enemy. From our group of seven or eight one classmate is alive and lives in Canada," says Harald.

That's how Nugiseks became the Estonain Legion soldier in May 1943. The big war meant that the men had to be seriously trained. So Nugiseks began his first and last journey to Germany to pass the soldier's training. At first they were in Poland, 30 or 40 kilometers from Krakow in the Heidelager in Debica where the Polish Cavalry's camp had once been. Many Estonian soldiers were trained for the first time in Heidelager. The squad leaders were mostly Germans, group and company leaders were Estonian officers.

The Poles had a rather angry, if not to say fierce, attitude towards the Germans. So it was no wonder when some Estonians in German uniforms left Heidelager and were attacked. However, there are known some cases where the Estonian boys got along with beautiful Polish girls. The girls were afraid, though, because the Polish boys could have cut their hair if they would have found out that they were dating Germans. And it would not have been any use saying that they're not dating Germans, but Estonians. The soldiers often went to Polish villages to get alcohol for Eastern marks and zloties.

The men in Heidelager were in 1943 visited by Estonians. Actresses Salme Reek, Mari Möldre and Riina Reinik performed for the soldiers. The former local authority leader, Hjalmar Mäe, SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler and several other famous people also came. When the 3 to 4 month training ended, the soldiers took an oath. The men had to repeat a German text that was read to them.

Nugiseks was in Heidelager for a short period of time because soon he was sent to Germany as the participant of the Eastern Battalion battles to the Lauenburg junior officers' school near Hamburg. This was a serious Prussian military school. Nugiseks arrived in August 1943 and spent there four months. Even today Nugiseks recalls this time by shaking his head – it was terrible training they had to go through. The men had to be like iron and steel who could survive in all kinds of situations.