Editors in 1918 Comment on the Prager Lynching and Trial

1918 Liberty Bond poster.

New York Sun

“He was lynched because the State of Illinois, the County of Madison, and the Town of Collinsville

failed to provide the protection it is their duty to furnish to every citizen, honest or dishonest, well behaved or criminal.”           -Literary Digest, The First War Lynching, April 20, 1918.

Washington Post

“It is a healthful and wholesome awakening in the interior part of the country. Enemy propaganda must

be stopped, even if a few lynchings may occur.”         

“The more one ponders Senator Overman’s estimate of 400,000 German spies, the harder it is to grow righteously indignant over the Illinois lynching.”          - April  12, 1918

New York Times

“The new unwritten law appears to be that any group of men may execute justice, or what they consider justice, in any case growing out of the war.”          - June 3, 1918

Chicago Daily Tribune

“The lynching of Prager was  reprehensible enough in itself, but the effort to excuse it as an act of ‘popular justice’ is worse.”          - June 3, 1918 

St. Louis Star

“We must save our own soul as a nation. We cannot let ourselves go in such a way as was done in the Prager outrage and hold up our heads as civilized people. We are battling for right and humanity and should exhibit those qualities ourselves or be open to the charge of hypocrisy. We cannot successfully battle the Hun if we are to become the Hun ourselves."          - June 3, 1918 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“It does not matter how the blame is distributed for the failure of justice in the Collinsville lynching case. There is enough to go around. Everyone who retains a sense of decency deplores the base use which the defendants and their attorneys made of ‘patriotism’ in the trial of the case. . . . There remains the outstanding shameful fact that a man was murdered in Collinsville, without pretense of concealment, by men who are known, and they have not been punished and there is no prospect that they will be. Law has fallen down in Collinsville.”          - June 3, 1918