Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"In Search Of Russia's Lost Gold"

No not the stuff in Magadan that got Tsvetkov killed (or was that fish?) and not those funny little companies listed on London's AIM, this is the Tsar's loot.

From the BBC:

One hundred years ago, the Bolsheviks captured the entirety of Tsar Nicholas II’s family gold reserve – or so they thought.

Russia, Siberia, Trans-Siberian Railroad, train (Credit: Credit: Maarten Udema/Alamy)
It was our third night on the Trans-Siberian Express in mid-July, and we had grown accustomed to the heat. The prehistoric cars contained neither air conditioning nor showers. My husband Dennis, who doesn’t speak any Russian, was left to play with his new fancy video camera, but I was more fortunate ‒ I could listen to conversations. As I stood in the narrow hallway of the train, waiting my turn to use the bathroom, the two middle-aged Russian guys in front of me in the queue were having a heated debate about the infamous treasure train that rattled along these very tracks a century ago, possibly setting the course of the Russian Revolution.

“The gold’s buried in the woods right out there,” said one of them, jabbing his finger at the vast Siberian plains flying by outside the window. “The guards stole a bunch of it en route.”

“No, the gold fell into [Lake] Baikal! That’s why no-one can find any trace of it.”

The men were arguing over one of the most enigmatic Russian legends: that of Tsar Nicholas II’s family gold reserve, a chunk of which supposedly disappeared during the Russian Revolution 100 years ago.

The story is part of the reason why we were on this train, so I couldn’t help but interrupt. “Don't historians agree that all of the gold was found and accounted for?” I asked. “I read it in Sergey Volkov’s book, The Ghost of Kolchak’s Gold Train.”

The man at the head of the line laughed. “Yeah, right. We always believe what we read in a book!”

The bathroom door opened and an elderly lady squeezed past us. The man stepped in, but before he shut the door, he stuck his head out and informed me condescendingly, “Anyone can write anything in a book. If you want to know the real story, you listen to the people.”...MUCH MORE