(JTA) — Russia has refused to return a library of sacred documents to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
A Washington, D.C., District Court ruled earlier this month that the Russian Federation must hand over to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow or to Chabad officials the religious books, manuscripts and other documents of the previous Lubavitcher rebbe, Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, who left Russia in 1927 and fled Poland during World War II.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the library was nationalized because Schneersohn had no heirs, The Associated Press reported. The ministry called the ruling a "rude violation" of international law.
The library reportedly is open to scholars.