The incredible story of Agustin Gomez, one of 'Russian children’
You can smell the smoke, you can hear the grinding machine that starts railway. In the windows are crowded dozens of children. No smiles. Fists in the air, rage and blank stares.
He never had to leave this trip. The saddest thing ever. No games or songs. A chill room torn apart by a cry disconsolate: Bye, Mom!… dad few days ago I said goodbye forever, you I have done.
CHILDREN OF RUSSIA
In 1937 the Spanish Civil War was going through its rawest moment. The National Front was advancing through the Iberian Peninsula.
The struggle in the Basque Country is especially hard. Hungry, misery and death. President of Euskadi, Aguirre, at the demand of Republican fighters themselves, He made the decision to evacuate thousands of Basque children, At the risk of turning them into a "man without God and country".
Thus, with a hanging cardboard chest, documentation in three languages and the heavy baggage of uncertainty and grief, children headed to Russia; including a young Renteria: Agustin Gomez de Pagola.
THE 'VASCO LEGENDARY’
Months later came to Moscow the legendary football team "Euzkadi" on his international tour, one of the last resources that the government grabbed Aguirre in exile for economic means. Once again, football and war were verses of the same song.
That event marked of a young Augustine greatly already excelled playing football. One of the most important clubs in Russia, the Torpedo Moscow, rapidly would your services.
Russian fans soon surrender to the feet of "The Basque legendary". With two Soviet Torpedo raised glasses and was awarded Honored Master Football.
That kid who had come from the other side of Europe with nothing, without speaking a word of Russian, He had become a handful of years in an authentic figure of Soviet sport.
“Augustine had a great reputation as an athlete at all sites. He had some innate qualities: smell, understanding of the game, placement, view… If we still played in the nineteenth century, he played already in the twentieth century ... "
Ruperto Sagasti. Documentary Live and Die in Russia 2
But he was still to come its culmination in his football career, Augustine was part of the Soviet Olympic team at the Olympics in Helsinki. something extraordinary, it was inconceivable that a foreign represented the USSR.
But that success brought about a dramatic moment. He was barred from taking the field. The highest levels found that a Basque could not represent the Olympics. The team lost, to be expected, because Gomez was the real defensive base of that team. "To say that Augustine was depressed, I was not saying anything, Augustine felt squashed ".
After the death of Stalin in 1953, thawing process is initiated between the relations of the Franco regime and the USSR. Such an environment allows the repatriation of "children" in 1956.
Augustine takes the opportunity and return to Spain on board the ship Crimea. He is carrying forward a letter of Real Madrid begging him not signing for another club.
It was soon to be face to face with reality. All the Russian Spanish They were a danger, but Augustine was more than others, is a character recognized in Russia and decorated in the Kremlin; and if that was not enough, does not hide his communist values. It is pointed out "this is too red". The Real Madrid is thrown back and the Gomez family is close all doors.
Months later comes an opportunity. The Atletico Madrid It offers you a contract for the remaining matches of the season, later there would.
With 34 years and several months without training, Augustine jumps the Metropolitan lawn. His nervousness and lack of form does not go unnoticed; and if that was not enough, the public did not take to focus their suspicions against him communists.
Curiosity aroused by Gomez, it has been defrauded. This player has disappointed demonstrating that although it has been contained, Today it is not anymore.
Daily Chronicle Sports World. 9 from December to 1956
Augustine I could not wait, He was dumbfounded. In his head still ringing cheers Russian. Instead, his countrymen rejected him. He could not take it. He turned to the Basque country leaving everything, forgetting about the contract and money.
THE POLITICAL AUGUSTINE GOMEZ
Humiliating interrogation at the police station were frequent, the crippling economic situation. But there came a lifesaver, the Club Tolosa It offers coaching contract. After a historical would train: the Real Union Irun.
The Gomez family finally finds some stability. It is at this time that Augustine begins the organization of the Communist Party of Euskadi. The police would soon arrest and jailing in Madrid.
His arrest presented a diplomatic problem for the Franco regime. Since the USSR is carried out a campaign for his release. Meanwhile, Augustine manages to escape from prison.
“Yesterday in Madrid, the dangerous political criminal absconded, member of the Central Committee of the PCE, Agustín Gómez, Police and Civil Guard control the roads, all that may provide help in finding this dangerous criminal ... "
Once again, Augustine has to flee from Spain. This time forever.
From exile, its role in the Communist Party is decisive. His own house becomes home to important meetings with such illustrious figures as Dolores Ibarruri "La Pasionaria".
Strong orthodox communist convictions, It is positioned in favor of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia which makes face the leader of the PCE, Santiago Carrillo, and found a new PCE claiming to be the true.
After a few years linked entirely to politics and perform some operations for the KGB, the fate wanted the eventful life of Agustin Gomez de Pagola It was over just 3 days before that of his archenemy Franco.
His tombstone emerges powerful snow on the Donskoy cemetery, as a metaphor for the struggle cold political, defender who never gives up.
“Some considered it an innate political as well as others considered an innate footballer "
Arguis ARLAUSKAS Pinedo. Director of the documentary To Live and Die in Russia