German Culture on the Skids: How World War I Changed German Culture in America
Article by Rickie Lazzerini. Chicago, the most German city in America at the time of the First World War, hosted a plethora of German-language newspapers and clubs. Because of this, Chicago, and other parts of Illinois, became a hotbed of anti-German sentiment. Germaniphobia went beyond place name changes and took on a violent and sinister tone when Robert Prager, a German immigrant who was thought to be disloyal, was hanged by a mob in Collinsville, Illinois. The state of Illinois provides a small-scale setting to witness how the war led to the downfall of German culture in America.
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