Russia Fined $44 Million for Refusing to Hand Over Chabad Library

NY Times

In a decision likely to prolong a Russian ban on lending art to American museums, a federal judge on Thursday ordered Russia to pay a fine of $43.7 million for refusing to return a collection of Jewish books and documents to the Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch group.

The dispute, long a source of diplomatic tension between the United States and Russia, centers on a collection of 12,000 books and 50,000 religious documents known as the Schneerson Library. The material was amassed by the Chabad movement in the two centuries before World War II, and kept since then in Russia.

For years, the Chabad organization, which is now based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has been trying to regain possession of the library from Russia, arguing that Soviet authorities held it illegally after the war.

In response, the Kremlin in 2011 barred state-run museums, including the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, from lending works to American museums, saying it fears they could be seized as part of the court case. American officials have said that such art seizures are forbidden by law and Chabad has forsworn any such effort, but the prohibition on lending remains in place.

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  • 1. DeClasse' Intellectual wrote:

    Another farcial joke!!!!!International law does not justify this judicial ruling. What it it does is to demonstrate that his ruling and $5.00 will buy you an overpriced cup of coffee at Starbucks, if you are lucky.
    Do you think Putin is shaking in his shoes because of this ruling–Putin will do what he wants when he wants; Putin knows how to play the game, these New York bag of wind do not–all they did was to delay a possible amicable siolution

    • 2. Milhouse wrote:

      In the USA there is no such thing as “international law”. US courts do not recognize such a creature. There is no world government, and the only law that applies in the USA is US law, which amply justifies this ruling. Collecting the fine may be difficult, but it can be done. There are specialists at finding assets that are not protected by the Vienna Convention, and the fine can be collected from those.

  • 4. DeClasse' Intellectual wrote:

    #2 Get a pair of glasses; you have no understanding of anything related to this. No, I work only for all the people who utilize their brain and the fifth book of the SHULHAN ORACH


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