ABA Journal Spotlights Raphael Prober and His Pro Bono Work for Holocaust Victims
In its article “This D.C. lawyer coordinated a massive pro bono effort on behalf of Holocaust victims,” ABA Journal profiled Akin Gump public law and policy partner Raphael Prober and his successful work on behalf of Holocaust victims and their survivors and heirs to obtain reparations and acknowledgement from the French government for the role that SNCF, the state railway service, played in the transportation of Jews and others to Nazi concentration camps.
Prober noted that his role involved overseeing “the efforts of more than 50 lawyers and lobbyists in several states, ensuring that every front—state and federal advocacy, negotiations and communications with the State Department, public relations, grassroots outreach, litigation—moved forward in concert toward the ultimate objective of providing reparations and some manner of justice to the survivors and their families.”
He noted that his own family had been affected by the Holocaust and also the “tremendous, sometimes overwhelming, sense of responsibility” to the survivors who had “suffered in such incomprehensible ways and were denied justice for so long, and they deserved it so richly.”
Prober said that, once the money is approved and appropriated by the French government, “it will be administered by the U.S. State Department based on the eligibility requirements of the agreement. My hope is that it will move along as speedily as possible, given the age of many of the survivors.”
He added that his next pro bono project involves working with the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, which “as a big baseball fan,” he finds particularly exciting.