We do not know exactly what the president said
Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to host the Schneerson library, which is now in the Russian State Library, the Jewish Museum. Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Boruch Gorin told "Izvestia", the difficulties linked to the implementation of this project.
Can I place the Jewish Museum on its site Schneerson Library, as proposed by President Putin?
- Neither you, nor I, no one knows exactly what the president said yesterday. I think that the president himself is not fully aware of what he says, pronouncing the "Schneerson Library". He proposed to start studying the issue. This is a fair approach. The president said he offers "a library placed on the center of the square." What does "place"? Donated to the Jewish Museum? Transfer to Storage? Create a branch of the Russian State Library? Answers to these questions can radically change the approach to the problem.
But one thing is clear - it is a set of books that need to be stored somewhere.
- It is no answer to the question of experts - that it was transmitted and to what extent. this collection is not selected and is not described in the funds of the RSL. They say about 12 thousand books, but it is known that there were 411 pounds of books -. As adopted in 1918, the balance of the Rumyantsev library in the future, the Lenin Library. These tomes were placed mainly in size: big to big, small to small. They are very assimilated among the other books on Judaica in the Russian State Library.
We need to start cataloging the Schneerson library?
- If the disposal of the President to be signed and submitted to the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Culture if it is properly performed if the Russian State Library will be sabotaging this solution, then begin the painstaking work of expert bibliographers to search for books from the library Schneerson.
They do not have the relevant stamps and bookplates?
- On the part of the book there are clear signs supplies the library. The other is the secondary characteristics: it Schneerson notes in the margins, and it is necessary to carry out handwriting examination. Another part of the book has only indirect signs: for example, the second volume of a two-volume, where the first is clearly a member of the library. There is plenty of controversial folios. The process of selection of the library - it`s not a single day, and I suspect that in the end will be given much less books than those 12 thousand, which they say the media.. Moreover, in 1920 the library was plundered, the notorious Jacob Blyumkin traded manuscripts in the Middle East, and on the cheap, and today almost every major collection of Jewish Studies have copies of this fund.
Are all the books are collections of bibliographical and historical value?
- About 90% of the books of great historical value, I think, do not have. Something is a bibliographic value, and only a small fraction - rare manuscripts, early printed books, unique manuscripts. The three subspecies should be different storage conditions and exposure.
Let us return to the question of the Centre to ensure these conditions.
- Obviously, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center - the most tech cultural area of ??Moscow - can provide all of these conditions are better than the current Russian State Library.
Technology is, and competent experts?
- A specialist in Jewish bibliographic values ??can be counted on the fingers of one hand around the world - in London, New York, Tel Aviv, Moscow. If the case takes a practical turn, they will be involved.
Do not worsen in the event of transfer of the library to the Museum of relations with the Hasidim in America?
- Today the first, and the main question - how to react to an American plaintiff proposed by Russian President compromise. If he accepts it, it will have to withdraw the case from the US Court.
And if you will not accept?
- If the American plaintiff flatly refuses to President Putin`s proposals, we do not take these books as their owner.
And if you take for storage, or to become a branch of the RSL?
- This question will need to be studied. In such trade-offs we are likely to agree, it is important from a moral standpoint. But in this case the change is only a moral, but not legal side of the matter: how the Americans pursued the Russian Federation in the court, and will do it. Our goal maximum - to stop the prosecution because it is destructive for the Schneerson library, and cultural relations of Russia and the United States. Since the decision of the judge Royce Lamberth of the illegal possession of Hasidic books in the RSL no Russian exhibition did not come to the US for fear of arrest. That did not happen even during the Cold War.
It all depends on the goodwill of the American Hasidim?
- It can not be. In the case of the transfer of the library of the RSL in the Jewish Museum in the United States there are procedures for which the State Department of the Ministry of Justice would oblige the judge`s decision to cancel Lambert. In this case, the conflict between the Russian Federation and the United States would have been exhausted and the applicant would be left with nothing.
Will the book in case of transfer of the Jewish Museum used in the practice of prayer, or only studied as a historical monument?
- In the book, we do not pray, and the Torah lists there. Books should be read, not just unique. Of particular interest are records in the fields that they left the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Chabad Chassidic leaders. Perhaps some of them are unique manuscripts, which have not been published. In New York Library Lubavitch at times exceeds the controversial fund, and it is absolutely all manuscripts published their libraries. The same demands and Schneerson Library - open to the general reader and researcher.