12 August 2010, 10:52
Russia won't give Schneerson library to American Hasids
Moscow, August 12, Interfax - The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that the decision by a federal judge in Washington that historical books and documents, known as the Schneerson collection, should be returned to the U.S.-based Chabad Lubavitch movement is illegal.
"The Schneerson library has never belonged to Chabad. It never left Russia and was nationalized because there were no legal heirs in the Schneerson family. The 'return' of these books to the U.S. is not an issue in principle," the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department of Information and Press said in the comments posted on its website.
"On the contrary, it is American Hasids who must return to Russia seven books from the same collection that they lent from the Russian State Library in 1994 through the U.S. Congress library for two months and have withheld illegally for 16 years now."
"The non-governmental religious organization of American Hasids called Agudas Hasidei Chabad based in the New York district of Brooklyn spent more than 15 years demanding on unclear grounds that Russia should 'return' to the U.S. the so-called Schneerson library, a collection of books on Judaism, which had for centuries been collected in the Smolensk province by the family of the Russian Empire subjects, the Schneerson rabbis," the Department said.
By law, "it would be logical, if the U.S. court, mindful of the immunity of the Russian Federation and its property against the jurisdiction of a foreign court, ruled that this matter is outside its jurisdiction and any claims by plaintiffs must be dealt with exclusively at Russian courts," the ministry said. "By the way, no one is depriving American Hasids of this opportunity," it said.
"Unfortunately, the U.S. judge made an unlawful decision, which cannot be enforced in Russia, as a matter of fact. There is no agreement between Russia and the U.S. on mutual recognition and enforcement of civil judgments," the statement said.
It was reported that on August 6 a federal judge in Washington ruled that Hasids had proved the legality of their claims to ancient Jewish books and manuscripts which, by his definition, are kept at the Russian State Library and the Russian Military Archive "illegally."
Part of the collection gathered by Lubavitch Rabbi Joseph I. Schneerson was nationalized by Bolsheviks in 1918 and ended up at the Russian National Lenin Library. The remainder was taken out of the Soviet Union by Schneerson who emigrated in 1930s.
About 25,000 pages of manuscripts got into the hands of the Nazi and were found later by the Red Army, which handed them over to the Russian State Military Archive. Lubavitch Hasids have sought the restitution of the Schneerson collection since the late 1980s. According to some reports, first Russian President Boris Yeltsin promised to James Baker, State Secretary in the George Bush Sr. administration, to return the sacred documents to Hasids.
- Church official: scientologists, Jehovah's Witnesses are American agents 30 January 2015, 17:35
- Russian Supreme Court says North Caucasian jihadists fighting for ISIL 30 January 2015, 16:14
- Russians find publication of blasphemous cartoons unacceptable - poll 30 January 2015, 15:11
- Klitschko overturns decision to strip Moscow Patriarchate of tax break 30 January 2015, 10:17
- Russian citizens find publication of cartoons insulting people's religious feelings unacceptable - poll 30 January 2015, 10:16
- Church to commemorate perished Russian sailors to be build in Japan 30 January 2015, 10:08
- Kyrgyz protest against Prophet Muhammad cartoons calls for boycott of French perfumes 29 January 2015, 14:14
- Russians are against religious cartoons - poll 28 January 2015, 17:00
- Russian Orthodox Church concerned about church arsons in Ukraine 28 January 2015, 14:17
- Rabbi Lazar thanks WWII veterans for saving world from fascism 28 January 2015, 10:02
- Police bust female extremist cell in southern Kyrgyzstan 27 January 2015, 17:54
- Church set on fire in Kiev 27 January 2015, 16:19
- Russia calls for inquiry into Babi Yar church arson 27 January 2015, 10:07
- Patriarch Kirill condemns cartoons of Prophet Muhammad 26 January 2015, 18:45
- Over two thirds of Russians aware of Charlie Hebdo attack - poll 26 January 2015, 17:08
- Church torched in Babi Yar 26 January 2015, 16:40
- Some 3,000 strong protest in Jalal-Abad against Muhammad caricatures 26 January 2015, 14:47
- Roskomnadzor issues warning to newspaper RBC for publishing images offensive to Muslims 26 January 2015, 12:10
- Peskov would like "Leviathan" movie to be released in Russia 26 January 2015, 10:06
- Duma calls on journalists not to incite religious hatred 26 January 2015, 10:05
- Warsaw's stance insults memory of Auschwitz liberators - FJCR head 23 January 2015, 13:17
- Russia could be one of world's last civilizations - Church official 23 January 2015, 10:16
- Dagestan leader slams insults to Muslims' religious feelings 23 January 2015, 10:05
- Russia needs to revive Soviet-era sense of solidarity - Patriarch Kirill 22 January 2015, 19:11
- Russian political parties must not destroy basic values - patriarch Kirill 22 January 2015, 19:01
- Russian bishop blasts child euthanasia, abortions 22 January 2015, 18:13
- Lavrov considers caricatures on religious topics tasteless 22 January 2015, 10:44
- Church will support fight against nationalism and Nazism - Patriarch 22 January 2015, 10:19
- U.S., French, Israeli flags burned during Baku protest against Muhammad cartoons 21 January 2015, 18:37
- Russian Church expresses solidarity with Muslims who protested in Grozny 21 January 2015, 10:03