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Federal judge allows lawsuit to proceed against Russia over seized Jewish texts

[JURIST] US District Judge Royce C. Lamberth [official profile] on Monday ruled [opinion text, PDF] that a group of Hasidic Jewish plaintiffs could go forward with a lawsuit against the Russian government for the return of 18th century religious texts allegedly expropriated by the Nazi and Russian governments preceding and during World War II. The plaintiffs, members of the Chabad Lubavitch [official website] Jewish Orthodox movement, have accused Russia of violating international law when it seized the materials from the Nazi regime in 1945. Prior to Russian custody, the religious texts had been seized by the Nazi military in Poland in 1927 and transferred to Germany, following abandonment by a rabbi forced to flee to the US.

Lamberth also dismissed [order, text] part of the suit that sought to recover a library of materials abandoned in 1915 by a rabbi fleeing Russia. The ruling cited a lack of jurisdiction because the allegations involved internal Russian matters rather than violations of international law. AP has more.

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