A Hungarian rabbi said on Tuesday he had uncovered 103 Torah scrolls stolen from Hungarian Jews during World War Two and stashed in a Russian library, adding he planned to restore and return them to the Jewish community.
Slomo Koves, chief rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, said he had found the scrolls while following up a previous recovery of Hungarian war loot in the Lenin Scientific Library in Nizhny Novgorod, 400 km (240 miles) east of Moscow.
In 2006, Russia returned to Hungary more than 100 antique books, including some from the 15th century, that had been brought to the same library in Nizhny Novgorod from the Sarospatak Calvinist College in eastern Hungary. That gave Koves the idea to try looking there for the missing scrolls. When he visited Nizhny Novgorod in January 2013, he found a room in the library basement with rows of artefacts gathering dust. A helpful librarian brought out the scrolls one by one for Koves and an associate to photograph and document.