Vacation and Getting Married

The freshly awarded Paul Maitla was first sent on vacation at the beginning of September. He drove directly to Tallinn. There was the person, whom he had never seen but really wanted to – Ants Angerjas' sister Aino with whom Maitla had been exchanging letters. The two young people met. There isn't anything to add to the two young people being joined for a brief and painful moment of happiness. It was undoubtedly a great feeling, which included the fear of its fast end. They got engaged. During Paul's second vacation they got married on December 18.

The relations with Endla ended when Paul got acquainted with Aino. Paul told Aino about it and felt that Endla wasn't right for him. Aino was. She was exactly who he needed. Two photos have remained from the day of their marriage. On the first photo we can see a young girl with curly hair. She is very beautiful – seems to be filled with joy from outside and inside. Next to the girl stands a young officer in his uniform. We can see happiness on both of their faces but there is also some kind of unexplainable seriousness, which is accompanied by fear of what will happen of their young love tomorrow, in a week, in a month or after several years? They were afraid to think of the far future. They lived for the moment. Horrible thoughts were avoided, like they didn't exist at all. On the other photo we can see these two people again. Although it's basically the same photo, it seems like something shocking had happened. Their faces reflect other emotions now, from somewhere a clearly sensed fear comes out. The officer uniform with SS lightning symbols is missing, there's only one face next to the other. Two faces which show the future pain in all of its nakedness and its human largeness. The photo of the husband was then and remained on the table next to her bed forever. A great and human feeling was born which lived forever in one heart. It didn't stay in the other heart for longer than a year and a half because the other heart stopped existing then.

But back then they loved and lived during the short happy days of their lives. A daughter named Kai was born from this love nine months later. A daughter who never met her father Paul Maitla, but learned to love his father based on her mother's feelings. When you talk to Kai, you realize how important it is that his father was a respected man of whom she is proud of. Life is complicated. Already on January 2, 1944, on the gates of the great downfall and having been married for two weeks, Paul Maitla returned to his unit under Nevel. He didn't know back then how close a disaster is, how thin is the Estonians defence and that he will play a role in this defence, which leaves his name in Estonian history forever as the soldier of the Second War of Independence. The hero of the Sinimäed Hills. But we'll get to that later.