Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

War IndexGlossaryEducational ResourcesAbout the Show
The Great War
Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Timeline Maps & Battles The Shaping of the 21st Century Historians
Historians OverviewDavid Kennedy

Patriotic Murder - The Mob-killing of a German-American
David Kennedy
"Among the more regrettable and bloody episodes of this kind of wartime hysteria took place in the Midwest when a mob seized a German-American man named Robert Prager.

"They stripped him of his clothes, bound him with cloth made from an American flag and lynched him in front of a crowd of some 500 or more people – all of whom cheered the effort on. The perpetrators of the lynching were arrested and brought to trial.

"A jury acquitted them in 20 minutes saying that what they had done was patriotic murder.

"Robert Prager, in fact, was a young man who had tried to enlist in the American navy and was then rejected for medical reasons. He had been known to say publicly political opinions of a socialist sort. He was thought to be (mistakenly, I believe) some kind of a pacifist. And his worst crime was that he was German-American."

Back to Top     

Home Prologue Explosion/Stalemate Total War/Slaughter Mutiny/Collapse Hatred & Hunger/War Without End

Timeline Maps & Battles Shaping of the 21st Century Historians War Index Resources About the Show
Copyright © 1996 - 2004 Community Television of Southern California. All rights reserved.