NEW YORK, January 21 - RAPSI. The US-based Chassidic movement known as Chabad Lubavitch will not insist that valuable Russian cultural objects in the US be confiscated in retaliation for Russia's refusal to give up the Schneerson Library collection.
The Chassidic movement claims that Russian officials have distorted its position in their statements so as to set the American public against Chabad Lubavitch. The movement stresses that it is the largest Judaic organization in the world, with 4,500.
The immunity of Russian works of art in the US is also guaranteed in the memorandum of the court that adjudicated the claim.
The Schneerson Library collection includes 12,000 books and 50,000 rare documents collected by a Hasidic rabbi who at the time was based in Russia's modern-day Smolensk region.
In late July 2011, a US court ordered that around 12,000 books and 50,000 rare manuscripts from the collection of Lubavitcher Rabbi Schneersohn - which are currently in the possession of the Russian state library - be transferred to the Chabad Lubavitch religious movement. The US court subsequently imposed a daily fine of $50,000 on the Russian government until the collection is returned to the American Hasidic group.
The Foreign Ministry earlier stressed that the Schneerson Collection "was amassed in this country and is therefore a national asset belonging to the Russian people. As state property of the Russian Federation, it has jurisdictional immunity." Moscow plans to issue a harsh response should any Russian state property be arrested.
Schneerson was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1927. He took his collection first to Latvia and then to Poland, where he abandoned it after the Nazi invasion. The collection was then taken to Germany and reclaimed by the Red Army in 1945. According to a US court, the manuscripts are currently held in the Russian State Military Archives.