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originally posted by: The angel of light
a reply to: TonyS
I agree in that the British behaved in the most disloyal way somebody could imagine, they could prevent the tragedy of the Royal family in mid 1918, and with that the prolongation of a tyranny that was going to represent a nightmare for humanity.
It seems however one important factor to consider to explain that attitude was all the vast fortune Nicholas IInd had saved in the Bank of England, the same that magically disappeared at the end of the war. We are talking of a fortune about thousands of millions of pounds deposited in bullions of solid gold that the Czar sent to London during the attempt of Revolution of 1905.
Now, I respectfully disagree about how unavoidable was the final outcome of the arrival of Communism to Russia. It was just enough to have Kaiser William II removed from power on time to have changed the course of this chapter of History.
Marxists used their alliance with Germany in a so smart way, they didn't lose time to commit treason in the lowest possible way to create a path for their ascense to power through a coup d'etat.
The Angel of Lightness
BILLIONS, billions, who's got the billions? The gold, jewels, land, cash, art and palaces of the Russian imperial family had an estimated value of over $45 billion when the House of Romanov fell in 1917. A great deal of that wealth can be easily accounted for -- the Bolsheviks grabbed it. But enough to make dozens of people gloriously rich eluded their grasp and has been sought and claimed ever since. The mystery of the missing wealth has also given rise to subsidiary mysteries: How did a czarist tiara end up on the head of Queen Elizabeth? Did the British royal family fleece their Russian cousins when buying up their jewelry? Did any of the pretenders -- the Anastasias, the Alexises -- have even a toe to stand on? And if there is any Romanov wealth extant today, who has the right to it now that the principal thieves, the Soviets, have themselves landed on the dustbin of history, to use an expression of which the Marxists were exceedingly fond?....
....the real missing wealth was not in art, jewels or cash in foreign banks but in a billion dollars' worth of gold, some of which was en route to the Remington Arms Company to buy weapons for the White Army battling the Reds during the civil war that began in 1918. Bullion and billions have a way of disappearing in Russia. In 1914 Russia held the world's largest gold stock, but it had essentially run out of gold by late 1921. Something similar occurred at the end of the Soviet era "when the total gold and currency reserves dropped from $11 billion to zero in less than 18 months," Mr. Clarke writes. "Only $7 billion of this recent drain could be accounted for by normal trade transactions. The whereabouts of the remaining $4 billion remains a mystery."
Even after their fortune had been diminished by the First World War, it was still in 1917 estimated to be dollars 9bn, or pounds 30bn in present-day money. By comparison, current estimates of the Queen's wealth hover at 'only' pounds 5bn.
Yet within a few years of the revolution, virtually everything had gone. The Tsar and his children were dead, and the few valuables they still had with them when they were shot (such as the jewels his daughters had sewn into their bras) had been plundered by the murderers. As for the rest, well, most of it seemed simply to disappear.
This has inevitably led to stories of hidden bank accounts, stocks of gold lying in some vault, or hoards of jewellery in private collections. William Clarke, a former financial journalist who made a second career in the City, has written a real-life detective story, piecing together what actually happened to each part of the fortune.