Posted to Chabad News on

Fight Over Chabad Library Deepens US-Russia Divide

Russia has for years refused to comply with a US court order to return a collection of Chabad books and texts seized in the early 20th century. The case could present new diplomatic and legal challenges for the Trump administration.

From Buzzfeed:

The Russian government has racked up more than $82 million in US court-ordered sanctions — a penalty that Russian President Vladimir Putin has signaled he has no intention of paying — in a case that could complicate the Trump administration’s already fraught relationship with the Kremlin.

A US judge in 2013 ordered the Russian government to pay $50,000 for each day that it defied his order to return thousands of Jewish religious texts seized in the early 20th century to a Jewish organization. The goal of the sanction, the judge wrote at the time, was to “coerce compliance.”

It didn’t work. Russia hasn’t returned the collection and now owes an estimated $82.3 million in sanctions, according to a lawyer suing over the texts. There is no sign that Russia plans to pay — the Russian government this year continued to dig in on its claims to the collection, according to letters obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Click here to continue reading at Buzzfeed.


  • 1. How many more shluchim? wrote:

    How many more shluchin in Russia will pay the price for cunins meshigassn?
    The Rebbe clearly once gave the delegation going to Russia a very straight horaa regarding meeting the shluchim of lishkas achim in the hotels etc. The question was asked if and when the delegation were to meet with the shluchim schools they interact. The answer was basically, only if it doesn’t hurt their shlichus.
    The Rebbe didn’t say “only if your mission doesn’t get hurt by it”
    The Rebbe cared for the sefarim very much but he apparently cared for shlichus even more.

    We all know that many Russian shluchim, the yeshiva in rostov etc suffered directly due to cunin’s shenanigans.
    Please chabad HQ put a stop to this dangerous silliness.

    • 2. Menachem Mendel wrote:

      Story in the rostov had to do with the bochrim not validating their visa out once in Russia is apparently a big crime in Russia

  • 5. Zzzz wrote:

    Russians don’t like to be forced to do something that’s the mentality if they stop pressuring them one day the library would end up in Switzerland and told to pick it up

  • 6. Putin says he wants to give it to Russian chabad not u.s. chabad wrote:

    What if Putin claims that after gimel tamuz chabad is all over the world not only u.s., and so he is holding it for Russian chabad?

    Chabad headquarters is Brooklyn? Queens? Or maybe Philadelphia PA? Some say it’s Washington DC, so he claims it’s still in Russia like it was for 200 years.

  • 7. DeClasse' Intellectual wrote:

    1) Putin will do what Putin wants when he wants–No law suite will intimidate him.
    2) According to international law, the Chabad claim is not steadfast especially given the past history of the recent law suit within Lubavitch over the books.
    3)According to International Law a state can only sue a state or a state on behalf of a corporation can sue another state but not an individual. In this case it is the corporation of Chabad suing Putin–which is a question of dubious international legality
    Perhaps silent negotiations would produce better results instead of the bombastic uproar of law suits and in time the books will be returned
    4) As of now, Putin will not be moved Trump or no Trump

  • 8. Moishe pipek wrote:

    Rumor has it that: Putin wil convert and become a talmid of Lazar and he will give the books as Bar Mitzva present to Jared Kushner’s son


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