The Russians occupied Estonia in 1940, the Germans only a year later. Conscription remained; the Germans needed young healthy conscripts as badly as the Russians had, and so, in the summer of 1943, the boys of class 4b of the Tartu Poeglaste gymnasium were drafted into the German army. Those who didn’t comply with conscription were considered to be deserters and deserters were shot. There was no escape. The boys witnessed the horrors of the Eastern front and the hardships of the prison-camps. Miraculously some survived.

This documentary tells the story of five young men, including one who, together with his parents, was ready to commit suicide rather than accept imposed Soviet rule over his beloved country. All who love Estonia should see this extraordinary documentary, to understand, what a generation had to live through. (If they could.) Eerik Purje – Eesti Elu.

logo Merits Productions
A film by: Helga Merits
Narrator: Alan Morris
Camera: Ramaz Melasvilli
Editors: Maaki Nurmeots and Jaan Kolberg
Producers: Helga Merits and Peeter Urbla
Duration: 52 minutes

DVD’s are available at Slothrop’s in Tallinn ( and at the Estionian House in New York (, or Order directly at: (€15 + shipping costs (€2,55 within Europe, otherwise €2.75)).