The Journey to Tartu

After spending a few days in Petseri and the regiment had been formed, the men were sent back to Southern Camp. "I, however," wrote Maitla, "Was sent to Tartu to get the maps. We had a Russian car for the journey. Colons of cars were moving of the roads. When we reached Tartu, there was a control on the city border. I saw strips of paper glued to the windows. Although it was a few hours passed midnight, the work in the division's headquarters was still going on. The maps I got were of Northern Estonia. This gave me hope that we may not be deported after all. Battling in North Estonia among own people and after changing side we can start sending the Russians away immediately. When the right moment comes, we could save the people from the terrorists even sooner."

"On my way back to Petseri these thoughts crossed my mind," stays in the journal. "The main question was – how to escape? It seemed tempting to do it on my way back. A single Russian bastard was sitting on the back of the car. It would have been easy to beat him away and run to the forest with the Estonian driver. Only my friend – the 9 mm pistol – was missing, all I had was a small Singer with six bullets. But this was stopped by one thought – what happens to my relatives if I do it? Besides, what happens to the good Estonian boys in my Southern Camp when I flee? At the same time the received maps showed me that there is no fear of being sent to Russia." Paul continues to discuss whether his fetching the maps could have been a set up, deceiving the Estonians, or was it an honest plan to send them to North Estonia? "Who knows, there isn't a single explanation anywhere." Putting together the scams and lies he had to go through in the future, it seems like this could have been a deceit.

"After handing the maps to the headquarters, I went home to sleep. On June 26 I got to rest in my apartment in Ersova for the last time. The next morning I went back to the camp." There Paul received the last letter from Tallinn. Around him the supplying of the additional men took place. During the nighttime the trustworthy men were sent around the camp to keep guard. They were probably already then afraid that the Estonians might try to escape. Paul, as we find out from the journal, managed to get his first load of ammunition with the help of his good fellows – they got 280 bullets to a 7,62 caliber pistol. For whatever might happen. "It was good for a start," he wrote. The first favors to get the ammunition were made by the temporary regiment leader, Junior Sergeant Elmar Mägi.

Then the Estonian soldiers were prepared for a journey which was the last one for many of them. The road took some of them to direct death in the battles with the Germans, the others were taken to the hard labor camps in Russia, the survivors to the soon-to-be-formed Estonian shoorters' corps led by Lembit Pärna, and some men were taken to the Estonian Legion or other Estonian units formed by the Germans, whose battling places were in the Nevel swamps, the Narva front, the Sinimäed Hills and Upper Silesia.

The third journal talks about the first summer of war. The men in Värska Southern Camp were anxious. What will happen with them? Where will they be taken? To Estonia? To the clearings of Sarmatia? Some believed the first, others the second. But the fact that something was to happen, was clear to all. There were talks of the Germans' luck, which encouraged the escaping plans of some men even more. But happened what Juhan peegel describes in his book – they were taken to Russia. Here the journey is described by a man, who on the German side earned the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The whole next chapter is taken from Paul Maitla's journal about his journey to Russia, his changing side under Porhov and being imprisoned by the Germans in Ebenrode.