the so-called Moscow gold refers to the action that occurred, just two months after the start of the Spanish Civil War, of appropriation and emptying of the public coffers with the transfer to the Soviet Union of 510 tons of gold from its deposit in Madrid.
This transfer of gold Russia is attributed to Juan Negrín, then Minister of Finance in the Government of Largo Caballero. According to sources, this represented the 72,6% of the gold reserves of the Bank of Spain.
How did this amazing transfer of Spanish gold to Russia happen?
The details of the maneuver have been fully known, what was revealed was that it was made by a reserved decree dated 13 September 1936, which was limited to order that transfer to secure site, which was never said is that it would be Russia.
Another administrative aspect of fiscal and legal control also contemplated this norm and was that it should be done "... an accountability before the Cortes", but this never occurred.
But how did it happen? How was the transfer of gold made to Moscow without anyone knowing?
Well, in the early morning of the September 14 with absolute secrecy was extracted from the cameras of the Bank of Spain and transferred to the naval base of Cartagena, with the purpose of embarking it from there if there was a detour by the Francoist troops.
Even though at that time the national army was stagnant in the city of Madrid, relatively far from that port, Juan Negrín decided to send the gold to Moscow the night of the 25 of October of 1936 in four Soviet ships, which left for the port of Odessa.
A direct testimony to be part of that embezzlement ensures that the president was not informed until much later due, firstly, to the reserved nature of the tramoya and secondly to the "emotional state" in which he was, that justified Francisco Largo Caballero
In addition to hidden and underhanded, that spoliation was of course completely illegal: it violated the Banking Regulation Law dated 29 of December of 1921 (Cambó Law), which establishes that the mobilization of reserves had to be done exclusively under the authorization of the Council of Ministers.
This regulatory framework even stipulated that the government can only go to the bank and request the sale of gold only "... to influence the exchange rate of the peseta and to exercise an intervening action in the international exchange and in the regularity of the money market " So that the operation was breached and exceeded the limit of the law.
What was the magnitude of Moscow's gold?
The journalist Laureano Benítez Grande Caballero maintains that the dimension of this robbery was excessive assuring that "... the reserves of gold of the Bank of Spain, according to the international statistics, they occupied the third place in the world, with a value of mobilizable reserves valued at 718 million dollars only for the headquarters of Madrid ".
For its part, the researcher Martín Almagro Gorbea affirms that in a balance sheet offered by the same Bank of Spain of the 30 of June of 1936, valued the reserves in "... 2.202 million of pesetas-gold, equivalent to 5.240 million effective pesetas [...], only for its metallic content, since its numismatic value would be around the 20.000 million of euros. "
Many years have passed since this transfer of gold from Spain to Russia and there are still important questions for reflection, for example, Why was elected Moscow as a destination? But more interesting is to finally know ...
Where did the Moscow gold?