Historic books (illustrative)
Historic books (illustrative)צילום: iStock

Chabad-Lubavitch has opened a lawsuit in Jerusalem District Court that aims to seize Russian assets in Israel as part of its ongoing fight to see the return of the archives from the Schneerson library.

The legal challenge intends to use American judgements against Moscow in which it was ordered to return the Scheerson library from Russia to the US and fined for contempt of court, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The Schneerson library consists of 12,000 historical books and written documents dating from the last decades of the 18th century to the present. The collection has been held by the Russian government since the end of World War I.

Chabad’s lawsuit posits "the need to enforce the verdict specifically in Israel, taking into account the historical, traditional, community and cultural importance of the Schneerson collection for Chabad Hassidism and the entire Jewish people."

According to the report, Rabbi Yosef Kunin, who is behind the effort to repatriate the archive, said: "The sad irony is that part of the book collection is what Hitler looted, and intended to create a museum with them is now found as war booty in the 'Museum of Tolerance' in Russia."

Uri Keidar, one of three attorneys handling the case, said that the team will also file related lawsuits in EU nations.