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寻找俄罗斯失踪的黄金宝藏

更新时间:2017-11-12 13:14:18 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

In search of Russia's lost gold
寻找俄罗斯失踪的黄金宝藏

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.

七月中旬,这是我们在西伯利亚大铁路列车上度过的第三个夜晚,我们已经习惯了车上的闷热。陈旧的车厢既没有空调也没有淋浴。我丈夫丹尼斯不会说俄语,只能摆弄自己的新摄像机,幸好我还能听得懂人们的对话。我站在列车的狭窄走廊上,排队等着上卫生间。队列前面有两个中年俄罗斯男人在激烈地争论着臭名昭著的宝藏列车。一个世纪之前,那趟列车曾沿着这条铁路驶过,也许它还决定了俄国革命的方向。

“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.”

争论的两个人中,有一个向窗外飞快后退的广袤的西伯利亚平原伸出手指说:"黄金就埋在森林里。卫兵们在途中偷走了一捆金条。"

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

"不,金子是掉进(贝加尔)湖里了!所以才没有人能找到它的踪迹。"

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.

两人争论的是俄罗斯最神秘的一个传说——沙皇尼古拉二世(Tsar Nicholas II)家族的黄金储备。据说,其中一大捆金条在100年前的俄罗斯革命中失踪了。

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.”

这个故事是我们坐火车的原因之一,所以我忍不住要打断他们一下。"难道不是历史学家认为所有的黄金都已发现和解释清楚了吗?"我问道。"我在谢尔盖·沃尔科夫(Sergey Volkov)的书《高尔察克的黄金列车幽灵》(The Ghost of Kolchak's Gold Train)中读过这个。"

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

站在前面的那个人笑了。"是的,没错。我们总是相信自己在书里读到的东西!"

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.”

卫生间的门开了,一位老太太从我们身边挤了过去。前面那人走进卫生间,但在关上门之前,他探头对我说:"书里的东西谁都能随便写。如果你想知道真实的故事,就要听听人民的声音。"

My family moved to New York City from Russia nearly 30 years ago, but I’m still weirdly drawn to the country’s old sagas ‒ and the tsar’s lost gold is one of the most enticing.

近30年前,我的家人从俄罗斯移居纽约,但我仍然被这个国家的古老传说所吸引,而沙皇失踪的黄金就是其中一个最引人入胜的部分。

Before World War I, Russia possessed the third largest gold reserve in the world, bested only by the US and France. When the war broke out, the tsar’s supporters, the White Forces, moved nearly 500 tons of gold from the capital of St Petersburg, which they felt was too close to Russia’s western border for the gold’s safekeeping, to Kazan ‒ my hometown ‒ a big trading city on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, about 640km east of Moscow. The Bolsheviks’ Red Army, led by Vladimir Lenin and his commander Leon Trotsky, laid siege on Kazan to seize the treasure from the tsar’s troops. Whoever got the gold would have enough money to pay for arms and soldiers, and would win the revolution.

在第一次世界大战之前,俄罗斯拥有世界上第三大黄金储备,仅次于美国和法国。战争爆发时,支持沙皇的白军(White Forces)从首都圣彼得堡转移了近500吨黄金。他们认为首都距离俄罗斯西部边境太近,不利于黄金保管,于是将黄金转移到喀山(Kazan,我的家乡),这是西伯利亚大铁路沿线一个主要贸易城市,位于莫斯科以东约640公里。为夺取宝藏,由列宁和他的指挥官列夫·托洛茨基(Leon Trotsky)领导的布尔什维克(Bolsheviks)红军(Red Army)在喀山包围了沙皇军队。无论谁得到黄金,都将有足够的资金供养武器和士兵,并赢得革命。

In the summer of 1918, after a bitter fight with the White Forces, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks took Kazan. But when the Red Army soldiers triumphantly marched up the steps of the Kazan Bank, they found the vaults empty. The treasure was already on its way to Siberia, which was not yet under the control of the revolutionary regime. Trotsky assembled his own train and gave chase.

1918年夏天,经过与白军的激烈战斗,托洛茨基和布尔什维克部队夺取了喀山。但是,当红军士兵得意洋洋挺进喀山银行时,他们却发现金库空空如也。这批财宝已经在前往西伯利亚的途中,它并没有落入革命政权之手。于是,托洛茨基集结自己的列车展开追逐。

Having done my nightly ablutions over a rattling sink in the train’s closet-like bathroom, I lied on my berth, leafing through the book that Volkov, a lifelong Russian historian with expertise on Siberia and Baikal, had published in 2011, and picturing the two armoured trains chugging through the same woods as my Trans-Siberian Express. It would take me three days to reach Siberia from Kazan, but a century ago the same journey would have taken months. The trains, powered by hand-loaded coal furnaces, moved slowly. And more importantly, hobbled by intermittent battles, fuel shortages, harsh winter weather and the general chaos of war, neither the White Forces nor the Bolsheviks could advance quickly. The chase, which was more like a schlepp with obstacles, progressed in slow motion.

在火车狭小的卫生间洗漱完毕后,我躺在自己的铺位上,开始翻阅沃尔科夫的书。作者一生致力于俄罗斯历史研究,对西伯利亚和贝加尔湖(Baikal)尤为专注,这本书于2011年出版,书中描绘的两列装甲列车行驶的正是我所在的西伯利亚大铁路。我要花三天时间才能从喀山抵达西伯利亚,但一个世纪前,同样的旅程却需要几个月的时间。当时,由人工上煤的蒸汽锅炉火车行驶速度非常慢。更重要的是,由于时断时续的战争、燃料短缺、恶劣的冬季天气以及战争带来的一片混乱,白军和布尔什维克部队都不能迅速前进。这种追逐更像一个遭遇重重障碍的拖车,进展非常缓慢。

A few months into the race, halfway across Siberia, the treasure train arrived into the hands of general Alexander Kolchak, the White Forces’ newly minted commander-in-chief. With Trotsky’s troops on his tail, Kolchak directed the train further east, as far away from the enemy as possible. He brought the train to Irkutsk, a trading city near Lake Baikal. And that’s exactly where my train was stopping next.

几个月后,在前往西伯利亚中途,这一宝藏列车落入白军新任总司令亚历山大·高尔察克(Alexander Kolchak)将军手中。由于托洛茨基军队尾随在后,高尔察克就指挥着列车一路继续向东,尽可能远离敌人。他带着列车抵达贝加尔湖附近的伊尔库茨克(Irkutsk)。而那里正是我所在列车的下一个停靠站点。

We arrived in Irkutsk in the dead of night, when the city is so empty that even taxi drivers were gone. With only a vague sense of where our hotel was, Dennis and I dragged our luggage through the darkened streets, avoiding stray dogs who made their home in the overgrown bushes. Streetlights didn’t seem to work in this part of town, so we spent an hour walking in circles with the moon as our only light. We could barely believe our luck when we finally discovered our hotel behind a patch of tall trees.

夜深人静时,我们到达伊尔库茨克。城里空空荡荡,连出租车司机都无处可觅。丹尼斯和我只隐隐知道我们酒店的位置,我们拖着行李穿过漆黑的街道,还要避开杂草丛生的灌木丛中无家可归的流浪狗。在伊尔库茨克的这个区域,街灯也不亮,所以我们花了一个小时,借着月光、也是惟一的光源,绕了一圈又一圈。当最终在一大片高大的树木后面找到旅馆时,我们简直都不敢相信自己的运气。

It was here in Irkutsk that the Czech battalions, who had been hired by Russia to fight alongside them in World War I, were stranded after the Bolsheviks seized Russia’s western part and cut off all routes to Europe. The Czechs wanted to go home, so when the treasure train arrived in Irkutsk, they captured Kolchak and the gold and handed them over to the Bolsheviks in exchange for permission to set sail from the Vladivostok port in Russia’s far east. The infrastructure in eastern Russia hadn’t yet been ravaged by the war or the revolution, so for the Czechs, heading east was now safer than taking the more direct route west.

在一战中,俄罗斯雇佣捷克军团共同作战,但是在布尔什维克占领了俄罗斯西部地区,切断了通往欧洲的所有路线之后,捷克军团被困在伊尔库茨克。捷克人想要回家,所以当宝藏列车到达伊尔库茨克时,他们抓住高尔察克,控制了黄金,并把他们交给了布尔什维克,以此作为交换,获得他们许可,从俄罗斯远东港口海参葳(Vladivostok)动身回家。俄罗斯东部的基础设施并未遭到战争或革命的破坏,因此,对于捷克人而言,向东走比向西走更直接的路线更为安全。

The collateral worked. The Bolsheviks took the gold, let the Czechs begin their journey and promptly shot Kolchak, who for the next 70 years was portrayed in Soviet history books as an enemy of the people and thus deserving of his death by firing squad.

抵押品发挥了作用。布尔什维克拿走黄金,让捷克人踏上回家之路,并迅速击毙高尔察克。在随后的70年里,高尔察克被苏联历史书描绘成人民的敌人,死有应得。

But as Dennis and I wandered along Irkutsk’s broad streets the next day, I made a surprising discovery. In one of the city squares I found a recently erected monument to Kolchak, honouring him as an important political figure. Russian historians clearly have rewritten that chapter of the revolutionary chronicle; the monument’s brass plaque explained that he fought for his ideals and died protecting the empire’s treasure.

但在第二天,当丹尼斯和我沿着伊尔库茨克宽阔的街道漫步时,我有了一个惊人的发现。在一个城市广场上,我发现了一个最近为高尔察克树立的纪念碑,将他视为一位重要的政治人物。俄国历史学家显然已经改写了革命编年史的那个篇章;纪念碑的黄铜匾说明,他曾为自己的理想而奋斗,并为保护俄罗斯帝国的宝藏而牺牲。

Kolchak’s story culminated in Irkutsk, but the treasure’s journey didn’t. The Bolsheviks loaded the gold onto a new train and sent it back to Kazan. According to Volkov, the treasure was returned in its entirety. But some historians insist the numbers don't add up, easily being off by 200 tons, if not more. Local lore sides with the latter: with such tremendous fortunes at their fingertips, would the hungry, angry, war-ravaged Czech soldiers really hand it all to the Red Army without saving some for their return trip? The local theory purports that the Czech troops stashed crates of gold on their own trains as they headed east through the rocky slopes of the Sayan Mountains, which stand almost perpendicular to Lake Baikal. It was on that rickety, old track where one of the overloaded trains is said to have lost traction and tumbled down into Baikal’s kilometre-deep waters.

高尔察克的故事在伊尔库茨克达到了高潮,但宝藏的旅程却并非如此。布尔什维克把黄金装上了另一辆火车,然后把它送回了喀山。根据沃尔科夫的说法,这些宝藏被全数归还。但一些历史学家坚持认为,宝藏的数字没有统计过,很容易就会有200吨的出入。当地的传说站在后者一边:在掌握着如此巨大的财富时,那些饥饿、愤怒、饱受战争摧残的捷克士兵真的会把所有的钱财都交给红军,而不会为他们的回家旅程留一些钱吗?当地的理论声称,捷克军队在他们自己的火车上藏了一箱黄金,他们向东穿过了萨彦岭山脉(Sayan Mountains)的悬崖峭壁,那里几乎与贝加尔湖垂直。这是在摇摇晃晃的老旧轨道上,据说其中一辆超载的火车失去牵引力,坠入贝加尔湖千米之深的水中。

And as the legend has it, that’s where it still lies today.

就像传说中的那样,那些黄金今天依然深藏湖底。

The next day we took the Circum-Baikal train ‒ an old-fashioned, coal-powered locomotive capable of pulling only two carriages ‒ to trace what may have been the final leg of the gold’s journey. As we disembarked at our first exploration stop, a flattened patch of land on top of a rocky cliff overlooking Lake Baikal, our soft-spoken blonde guide Tatiana issued a warning. “Be careful going down, the slope is very steep!”

第二天,我们乘坐一列只能带两节车厢的老式燃煤机车,跟踪传说中那些黄金的最后旅程。在探险之旅的第一站,我们站在悬崖上的一块平地上,俯瞰贝加尔湖,我们温和的金色头发导游塔蒂阿娜(Tatiana)发出警告。"小心往下走,坡很陡!"

We passed by the village babushkas selling bread and smoked omul, a Baikal fish, and headed down a meandering path overgrown with stinging nettles. The crumbly soil didn’t hold up well underfoot, making us grab at tree branches and rocks for balance. While a few daredevils went skinny-dipping in Baikal’s frigid water, which barely reaches 10C, I sat on a mound and stared up the slope so sheer that I could no longer see our train. Yes, any carriages that lost their footing here would inevitably tumble down to the lake.

我们经过村子,见到有俄罗斯农妇兜售卖面包和熏制贝加尔白鲑鱼。我们沿着一条曲折的小路蜿蜒而下,路边长满了带刺的荨麻。脚下土壤松软,不堪受力,我们需要抓住树枝和岩石才能保持身体平衡。这时,还有一些勇敢的人在贝加尔湖冰冷的水里裸泳(此时温度几乎不足摄氏10度)。我坐在一个小土堆上,盯着陡峭的斜坡,此时已经看不到我们的火车了。是的,任何列车在这里失去立足点都将不可避免地要滚落到湖里。

Tatiana sat next to me and I couldn’t help but ask, “So is this where the famous gold train fell off?”

塔蒂阿娜就坐在我旁边,我忍不住问道:"这里就是著名的黄金火车掉下来的地方咯?"

She gave me a wide smile. “That depends who you ask,” she said. “People from Moscow don't believe this story – they think we made it up. But the local elders, who heard it from their parents, they know something happened. And if you think about it, back then accidents happened all the time. The old trains were wobbly and unbalanced.”

她咧嘴大笑。"这要看你问的是谁,"她说。"莫斯科人不相信这个故事——他们认为这是我们杜撰的。"但故事是当地长者从他们父母那里听到的,他们知道发生了什么事。如果你仔细想想,那时候事故总是不断。老火车摇摇晃晃,难以保持平衡。"

Her words made me wonder what it was like to ride a train here 100 years ago, so when I climbed back uphill, I headed straight to the train crew. For a small tip, the crew let Dennis and me ride with them in the old locomotive, next to the sizzling, hand-loaded coal furnace.

她的话不禁让我想知道100年前在这里坐火车是什么感觉,所以爬上坡后,我直奔火车站。出了一笔小费,列车员便让丹尼斯和我一起坐在老机车上,我们身旁是一个咝咝作响的、人工上煤的煤炉。

“Looking for the gold, huh?” one of the crewmen asked me as the train pulled off with a deafening whistle. “My friend’s father was a diving pro who could stay underwater for five minutes. He dove for that gold every summer but found none. Baikal keeps its secrets, you know.”

一名列车员问我,"来找黄金,对吧"?此时,火车发出震耳欲聋的汽笛声。"我朋友的父亲是潜水专家,他可以在水下呆5分钟。他每年夏天都要去寻找那些金子,但却一无所获。你知道,贝加尔湖会保守自己的秘密。"

“So is the gold really there, at the bottom?” I asked.

"那么,黄金到底在哪里呢?"我问道。

The other crewman jumped in. “When the research submersible Mir did its Baikal dives in 2009, the team found train wrecks at 700m deep. They saw small objects glistening through the sediment in a crevice, so they couldn’t get to it, couldn’t grab it to bring it up to the surface. If that wasn’t gold bars then what was it, I’m asking you?”

另一名列车员插进来,"2009年,当探测潜水器和平号(Mir)在贝加尔湖进行潜水时,工作人员在700米深处发现了列车残骸。他们在一个裂缝里看到有小物体在闪光,但他们却无法到近处,无法抓住它,把它带到水面上来。我问你,那如果不是金条是什么?"

The train picked up speed and the rattle of its huge metal wheels became overwhelming. For the next hour, we were thrown around the small cabin and smacked by tree branches while trying to look out the window. But I got to see how incredibly close the tracks were to the precarious edge, and the spine-tingling feeling of hanging over that nothingness made me dizzy.

火车加快了速度,巨大的金属车轮声淹没了一切。在接下来的一个小时里,我们在狭小的车厢里上下颠簸,在人试图向窗外看的时候,会被树枝拍打。但是,我却能看到铁轨与险峻的悬崖边缘近得不可思议,那种虚无带来的刺痛感让我头晕目眩。

That evening, I sat in the outdoor terrace of my hotel in the rustic resort town of Listvyanka near Baikal’s southern tip, recovering from the bumpy train ride and watching the sun set into the lake, colouring the waters a shimmering gold. I was embroiled in yet another debate with yet another local ‒ this time a matronly lady who had the familiar, irrefutable, pro-gold argument. Her son, a gangly man in his 20s, listened quietly, but she was getting upset that I dared to question the legend. “You can’t just go by what’s written in a book,” she raved. “You should listen to the people!”

那天晚上,在贝加尔湖南端乡村度假小镇利斯特维扬卡(Listvyanka)酒店的露天阳台上,我从火车车厢的颠簸中恢复过来,看着阳光照进湖中,将湖水染成金色。我又卷入与另一名当地人的一场辩论中。这一次是位风韵犹存的女士,她的观点似曾相识、无可辩驳,她支持贝加尔湖存在黄金的论点。她的儿子,一个二十多岁小伙子,在静静地听着,但她却因为我敢于质疑这个传说而感到不安。她说:"你不能只看书里写的东西。""你该听听人民的声音!"

And then it dawned on me. In Russia, which lived through decades of propaganda, the printed word changes from one regime to the next, capricious like Baikal’s weather. The Kolchak monument I saw in Irkutsk is a perfect example of that. But while the information published in books and periodicals may change with the tide, the people, who see, hear and pass on what they remember, act as their own historians. Even if they add new details and drama now and then, their memories may indeed hold more truth than a heap of pages fresh off the press.

然后我就明白了。在俄罗斯,经过几十年的宣传,从一个政权到下一个政权,印刷的文字一变再变,就像贝加尔湖的天气一样反复无常。我在伊尔库茨克看到的高尔察克纪念碑就是一个完美的例子。但是,尽管在书籍报刊上发表的信息可能随着潮流而改变,但人们会看到、听到并流传他们所记得的信息,就像他们自己的历史学家一样。即使他们偶尔会添加一些新的细节和戏剧性事件,他们的记忆也会比连篇累牍的新闻媒体更加真实。

Silenced by this sudden revelation, I didn’t respond to the lady’s fervent speech; she decided I was ignoring her and walked away with an indignant snort. “This is a delicate subject for my family,” her son explained. “My mother told us that her grandfather helped the soldiers bury some gold in the woods, but when he went back he couldn't find the spot. He spent every summer searching for it, until one year he didn't come back. He disappeared.”

我在这突然得到的启示下沉默了,并未对这位女士的热情演讲作出回应;她一定认为我不理睬她,气哼哼地走开了。她的儿子解释道,"这个话题对我的家人来说很微妙,我母亲曾告诉我们,她的祖父帮助士兵们在树林里埋了一些金子,但当他返回时,他却找不到那个地方了。他每年夏天都去寻找,直到有一年他再也没有回来。他失踪了。"

“I’m sorry,” I apologised. “I didn’t mean to offend your mother. I’m just curious if the lost gold really exists.”

"我很抱歉,"我道歉道,"我不是故意冒犯你的母亲。我只是好奇失踪的黄金是否真的存在。"

“So are we,” he assured me with a smile. “That’s why we want the legend to live on. It’s part of our landscape now, part of Baikal, part of Siberia. It’s just too beautiful to die.”

"我们也一样。"他微笑着安慰我。"这就是我们想让传奇继续流传下去的原因。"现在,它已成为我们的一道风景线,成为贝加尔湖的一部分,也是西伯利亚的一部分。它太美好了,不应该消亡。"

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