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.
- Moscow to host Quran intl recitation contest on September 20 19 September 2014, 15:14
- Cross set up in Belgrade to commemorate defenders of the city during the First World War 19 September 2014, 11:12
- Ukrainian Army shells Donetsk monastery 18 September 2014, 16:53
- Russia and Vatican to hold art exhibition on Biblical themes 18 September 2014, 10:10
- Sts Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow decorated with a Japanese symbol 18 September 2014, 10:01
- Released Lugansk priest claims pilot Savchenko suggested to divide them to organs 17 September 2014, 10:22
- Ukrainian bishop believes the country's authorities Satanic 16 September 2014, 12:15
- Two Hizb ut-Tahrir activists detained in Kyrgyzstan 16 September 2014, 11:42
- War against Islamic State promises benefit to Russia - religious expert 16 September 2014, 11:33
- The Ukrainian church official accuses the country's authorities in eliminating their own people 15 September 2014, 16:28
- Russian Foreign Ministry calls a "mockery of common sense" discharge of the Femen activists for their action in Notre Dame de Paris 15 September 2014, 14:22
- Supporters of so-called Kiev Patriarchate attempt to take over church near Kiev 15 September 2014, 11:53
- Three Tajik Islamists sentenced to imprisonment in Khabarovsk Territory 15 September 2014, 10:50
- Rabbi Kogan urges to respond to Western sanctions with a baby boom 12 September 2014, 11:04
- Rabbi Lazar opens a hockey match between renowned sportsmen and the Jewish community team 12 September 2014, 10:20
- Greek-Catholic priest urges to eliminate militiamen 11 September 2014, 16:40
- Putin lights candles for "defenders of Novorossiya" in Moscow church 11 September 2014, 13:44
- Austrian MP condemns USA in attempts to blow up traditional European values 11 September 2014, 13:28
- ISIS has 100,000 fighters, including Western, Russian citizens - expert 10 September 2014, 12:51
- U.S. report on religious freedom in Uzbekistan biased - Tashkent 09 September 2014, 14:51
- Idea of Russian World not means of enslaving Ukraine - Patriarch Kirill 08 September 2014, 16:13
- Russia, Ukraine, Belarus linked with invincible spiritual bonds - Patriarch Kirill 08 September 2014, 10:00
- ISIL Islamists threaten not just Russia but to all Europe - Margelov 04 September 2014, 10:01
- Over 200 fake passports seized from Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Moscow 04 September 2014, 10:01
- Crimea does not need sexual minorities - Aksyonov 02 September 2014, 17:56
- Russian school in Bethlehem to strengthen Russian-Palestinian ties - Putin 02 September 2014, 10:01
- In order to come to Russia Dalai Lama must quit politics - Lavrov 28 August 2014, 10:13
- Wahhabism supporters use Internet to campaign for extremism - Kadyrov 26 August 2014, 17:47
- Kadyrov asks clergy to resist early marriages in Chechnya 26 August 2014, 14:58
- Yamalo-Nenets authorities deny violations of Muslims' rights at local prison 26 August 2014, 14:57