A slim man with short dark hair agilely steps off a train in steamy cold Estonia, looking furtively at army officials hobnobbing outside the station. He puts up his collar to shield himself from the cold in a way that lets you know, he prefers not to be seen. He heads for his appointment where he is hired as a gym teacher using a pseudonym, Endel Nelis. It is his students, like the youth of Estonia, who will ultimately change him and their country forever.
Like the thin, wary teacher, Estonia, after WWII, was just trying to survive. During the war she was occupied by Germany. All her healthy young men were conscripted by the Nazis, the No. 1 enemy of Stalin’s Soviet Union. After the war, Russia overtook Estonia as part of the spoils of war. (CONTINUED)