Rafi Prober Talks to The Hill on France’s SNCF and the Holocaust Rail Justice Act

In its article “Senate measure renews fight over reparations for Holocaust survivors,” The Hill reported the reintroduction of the Holocaust Rail Justice Act by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.  Akin Gump public law and policy partner Rafi Prober has spearheaded the firm’s efforts to support this legislation in Congress and similar bills in state legislatures on behalf of Holocaust survivors, their families and others who were transported to German concentration camps by SNCF, a French government-owned rail company.

The survivors seek compensation, something that SNCF has declined to provide.  The Holocaust Rail Justice Act would allow Holocaust victims and their families to sue SNCF in U.S. courts.  The bill has received bipartisan support, which, Prober said, speaks to its significance, adding “These bipartisan members are in a position to push this forward and want to see survivors have their day in court.”

Prober dismisses SNCF claims that it transported victims to the camps only during the German occupation and then under duress, noting that SNCF looked to collect on its invoices at least two months after the liberation of Paris, which, Prober noted, “undercuts SNCF’s assertion they were wholly coerced by the Nazis. This was about business, and they were looking to get paid.”

He further rebuts SNCF’s claim that the fact that it does business around the world, including Israel, speaks, at least in part, to its support for Jewish causes, noting “Where they do business is not the equivalent to providing some moral blessing. The bottom line is they have never been accountable to their victims.”

To read more about Rafi Prober’s work on this issue, please click here.