Raphael Prober Profiled for Pro Bono Work with Holocaust Survivors

Akin Gump public law and policy partner Raphael Prober was profiled by National Journal in the article “Lawyer Raphael Prober Seeks Justice for Holocaust Survivors.”

Prober, whose work focuses on congressional investigations, has spearheaded Akin Gump’s effort to seek reparations from SNCF, a state-owned French railway that transported 76,000 Jews to German concentration camps during World War II.

Most recently, Reps. Maloney and Ros-Lehtinen of New York and Florida, respectively, reintroduced the Holocaust Rail Justice Act, which would prevent SNCF from invoking foreign-sovereign immunity.

Regarding the bill’s prospects, Prober notes, “I expect that it will be introduced in the Senate in short order.... It enjoyed more support in the last Congress than ever before.”

He adds that, as the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, “That part of my history...certainly impacts me on a daily basis. It not only redoubles my commitment to provide justice for these victims but makes me further appreciate the great things that we enjoy in this country.”

Discussing SNCF’s refusal to pay reparations, Prober says, “I’m certain that this Fortune 250 company, looking to do billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded business in the U.S., has the resources to provide reparations....The question is not SNCF’s ability to do the right thing; it’s SNCF’s desire to do so.”

He summarizes his views by saying, “We have an obligation to learn from this. The lessons of the Holocaust, from a human perspective and from a legal perspective, are enduring.”