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“American or traitor”: how anti-German sentiment led to the wartime lynching of Robert Prager

An immigrant and socialist, Prager was lynched by a mob of "patriots" in Illinois. They were all acquitted

By Greg Bailey  

Robert Prager was lynched, after a mob was apparently inflamed by anti-German, anti-socialist sentiments.

Across the river from St. Louis is a region scarred by its past. The jagged scars of old strip mines tear across the land. Sealed underground mines, long abandoned, from time to time announce their forgotten existence by the collapse of their tunnels, and the breaking of any house or building above on the surface. But there is a deeper scar, nearly a century old, in this once-thriving coal country. In the anti-German hysteria during the Great War,…

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