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Sep 10, 2008

When I was going through the archives of my local web analytics company, I found another interesting case, when major government in Europe was cheated and lost its national treasure to Bolsheviks. This case is related to the Civil war in Spain in the thirties of the twentieth century. It is called infamously Moscow gold case.

Short lived Spanish Republic desperately needed arms and military equipment but other European countries did not want to get involved in the civil war and did not sell anything to the Spaniards. The only country that ignored this embargo was the Soviet Union. That is why in 1937 the Spanish republic sent most of the gold reserves from its national Treasure to Russians. One must say, that at the time Spain was on the fourth place in the world for its stored gold. And the USSR got most of it, which amounted at the time to five hundred million dollars.

When Franco and his supporters learned about it, they heavily protested this transaction, stating that this gold belongs to the people and not to the Spanish government. But the transaction turned sour for the republicans because Soviets sold them all kind of military junk stored since World War I. Besides, prices were extremely inflated for each rifle and each bullet. This outdated equipment, part of which was malfunctioning right from the start, turned out to be one of the huge factors that impacted the defeat of the Spanish Republic.

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Posted: Sep 10, 2008 11:18pm
Sep 10, 2008

Russia also received for safekeeping archives of the Romanian Academy, priceless religious artifacts and manuscripts and even multiple deposits that citizens kept at the Romanian banks. There is no estimate for this second transport, but, most definitely, even if we try to do this, it will probably will be several times more than the first transport. That is all what I found about this case during my web research in archives of web analytics company.

Well, it is highly likely that you already know what happened next, when Bolsheviks overthrow the old authorities in Russia. They refused to abide and respect an treaty signed by tsar and previous government. Basically, they got it all and multiple attempts of Romanian government to recover the Treasure were unsuccessful. The most important part of two transports was never returned. Only in 1935 Romanians received back bits and pieces of the archives and in 1956 small part of the paintings and ancient objects. That was all.

Up until now Romanians still can’t return their Treasure. They tried repeatedly to get it back after the fall of the Soviet Union but to no avail. All negotiations failed. Russian side sank down demands each time, refusing to discuss them further.


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Ekaterina G.
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Delray Beach, FL, USA
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