History 02/01/20 Why Stalin in 1936 “gave” the gold reserves of Spain
During the civil war in Spain 1936-1939, the Soviet Union rendered great material assistance to the Republic. But not for free. The Spanish Republican government was taken in the USSR to pledge military supplies a large part of its gold reserves. What has become of him?
Stalin: “the Spaniards do not see gold as their ears”
From the beginning of the civil war there was a threat of capture of Madrid by the rebels. In their hands could be the gold reserves of the country. In an effort to prevent this threat, and may be ready to continue the struggle in exile, the government of the Spanish Republic on 15 October 1936 and turned to the USSR with a request to take possession of a large part of Spain’s gold reserves.
the Politburo of the CPSU(b) reacted quickly. 17 October, it instructed the Soviet Ambassador in Madrid to respond to the request of the Spanish Republican government that it is ready to accept the gold reserves for safekeeping. Export of gold was planned for vessels delivering to Spain weapons and military materials.
a Former resident of the NKVD, the agent-defector Alexander Orlov, who defected in 1938 from Spain to the US, obviously exaggerated his personal role in this operation. Primarily responsible for it was the Soviet Ambassador in Madrid, Michael Rosenberg. Hard to believe that, as asserted by the eagles in one of his books, even naval attaché Nikolai Kuznetsov did not know about the nature of the operation, though, with Stalin’s game in secrecy, could be any. The allegations Orlov, Stalin he is strictly forbidden to give any receipt to the Spanish side for the goods.
From 22 to 25 October 1936 in secrecy held loading onto Soviet ships that brought the Republic tanks and ammunition, Packed in boxes of Spanish gold. The steamer “Neva” was shipped 2697 mailbox “KIM” – 2100, on “Kuban” – 2020, “Volgoles” – 963 box. They were the gold coins weighing 510 tons and 79.5 kg for the total amount (at the then prices) 1 billion 581 million 642 thousand Spanish pesetas, or 517 million dollars. This accounted for 72.3 percent of the gold reserves of Spain.
At the beginning of November the ships arrived in Odessa, and November 6, 1936, the gold was delivered to Moscow. Here it was, according to historian V. I. Mikhailenko, placed first in the basement of the house No. 3 Nastasyinskiy the alley, and then transported to the primary storage Control precious metals of people’s Commissariat of Finance of the USSR on Neglinnaya street, 12. There he was placed on all three floors of the building.
January 24, 1937, between Ambassador of the Spanish Republic, Marcelino Pascua, and people’s Commissar of Finance of the USSR Nikolai Krestinsky (in March 1938, he would be shot) was signed the act of delivery and acceptance of the Spanish gold. When Stalin was informed about it, the Soviet leader, according to the historian Vadim Telitsin V. in his book “the Pyrenees in the fire,” allegedly told his associates: “the Spaniards will never see this gold will never see their own ears”.
How much cost help
According to estimates Mikhailenko, the total value of military aid to the Soviet Union to the Spanish Republic during the civil war can be measured in the range from 222,2 million and $ 226.6 million then us$. This includes the cost of freight, and the preparation and content of Soviet military specialists and officers-volunteers who fought in the Republican army.
As you can see, it is less than half the appraised value of the part of the Spanish gold reserves which was moved to the Soviet Union. Therefore, sometimes found untenable the assertion that all the Spanish gold was spent by the Soviet Union for military assistance to the Republic. Unlikely, as do other commentators, to add on to this the cost of removal and the contents in the USSR, hundreds of thousands of children of Spanish Republicans – in the end, it was an act of humanitarian assistance, to measure it in the money properly.
having Lost all the gold reserve (the remaining 193 tonnes it was aboutotpravlena in early 1937 France), the Spanish Republic fell into a severe financial crisis. In March 1938 the Soviet government has opened credit in foreign banks in the amount of $ 70 million, and in November of the same year – another 100 million dollars. It was less than a third of the value of the Spanish gold, trapped in the Soviet Union. Credit continued to be disbursed by the government of the Spanish Republic in exile and after the civil war.
the question of the return of the Spanish gold
the Soviet Union had never recognized the Franco government. When he died, and in Spain, established a parliamentary democracy, the Soviet Union, as written Telitsin V. in his study, allegedly returned some of the gold to Spain. However, in 2011 live at radio Liberty he said that the Soviet Union didn’t return, citing the fact that all the gold left on account of military supplies. In other words, it fully was awarded the Soviet Union (the total value of gold was more than double the amount of supply) and should still be somewhere in Russia.
of Great interest is the modern estimate of its value. In an article in the Spanish Wikipedia States that the amount of transported in the Soviet Union values in purely weight terms, currently stands at 12.2 billion euros. Given the fact that a significant portion of the gold was numismatic, collector’s value, its total value could reach 20 billion euros. Telitsin V. emphasizes that not all the gold that was brought from Spain in the Soviet Union, represented the bullion. Part of it was the collection of old Spanish coins, and jewelry jewelry, evacuated from museums in Spain, the so – called “Columbian gold”.
So the prophecy of Stalin that the Spaniards will never see their gold, who is in Russia, yet executed.
it is Necessary to notice that France seems in no hurry to return to Spain, all 193 tons of gold exported by the Republican government. She returnratila of only 40 tons, and in 1939 – the gold was handed over to representatives of the victorious General Franco. The rest supposedly lost somewhere in the commotion of the Second world war and the German occupation of France.
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