U.S. ambassador hopes Schneerson Library issue will be resolved

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has said he is hopeful that a political solution will be found to the situation surrounding the Schneerson Library.

McFaul told the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Thursday that he had been tackling this issue for four years.

All members of the Jewish community should enjoy access to books from the Schneerson Library, the ambassador said.

The Schneerson Library is a collection of old Jewish books and manuscripts built by Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Schneerson in the Russian Empire at the end of the 19th century. Part of the collection was nationalized by Bolsheviks in 1918 and eventually joined the Russian State Library collection.

Schneerson managed to take the other part of the collection out of the Soviet Union while emigrating in the 1930s. About 25,000 pages of manuscripts from the collection were later seized by the Nazis, then were regained by the Red Army and handed over to the Russian State Military Archive.

Chabad-Lubavitch has been seeking the Schneerson collection's handover since the end of the 1980s.

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