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Putin refused to give the Schneerson library to the Hasidic Jews

February 20, 2013, 10:50 UTC+3

Russian President held a meeting of the Presidential Council on Interethnic Relations at the Jewish Museum and the Centre of Tolerance on Tuesday

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Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Presidential Council on Interethnic Relations at the Jewish Museum and the Centre of Tolerance on Tuesday. At the meeting Putin proposed to place the Schneerson library right at this museum, but rejected categorically the idea to give it to the Hasidic Jews. Meanwhile, the president has some ideas over a new history textbook.

The museum, which is created by the Russian Jewish community, is impressive with its true Russian sweep, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. The exposition is located on 4,500 square meters, its total area is very large of 17,000 square meters.

At the end of the meeting Putin had to seek for a decision worthy of Solomon. On the one hand, he found it, confirming the impossibility to hand over the Schneerson library to the religious movement Agudas Chasidei Chabad in the United States, on the other hand, proposing to exhibit the books at the Moscow Jewish Museum. “I am ready to formulate an appropriate instruction to the government and the Culture Ministry,” the president pledged.

“I can state with regret that this problem turned in a scandal,” the Kommersant daily quoted the Russian president as saying. “The library primarily belongs to the Russian state. From the legal point of view, it consists of two parts. Schneerson collected it in Russia in the nineteenth century, and the first part was nationalized by the decision of the Council of People’s Commissars in 1918. If we agree that the Russian state property will be passed to someone, we will open the Pandora box. If we begin to satisfy such lawsuits... We are not ready for this. This is impossible! The second part is brought to our country as the trophies after the Second World War..” Putin said.

At the meeting of the Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations Vladimir Putin voiced the plan to fulfil the strategy of the state national policy that was approved last December, the Novye Izvestia daily noted. Putin named as one of measures to build up interethnic friendship a common Russian history school textbook, which would avoid any possible interpretations.

“It is needed to show at concrete examples that Russia’s fate was created through the union of different peoples, traditions and culture,” Vladimir Putin said. “This is a systemic, complex and creative work and it should meet the interests, needs of children and modern public realities,” Putin pointed out. In the view of the president, not only the specialists from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science and the Russian Academy of Sciences, but also two oldest Russian public unions – historical and military historical societies, can be involved in the making of an all-Russia history textbook.

The newspaper noted that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky stated earlier that a common Russian history textbook should be made. Dmitry Medvedev even noted that over different interpretations of the same historical events the school students have a huddle of ideas.





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