Halifax museum says sharing Austrians' immigration story was 'a mistake'

HALIFAX — The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax has removed a story on its website about two Austrian immigrants, saying sharing the personal memoir was "a mistake."

Spokeswoman Beatrice Houston Gilfoy said the story of Vincenz and Kristina Bogatin was shared with the museum by their daughter, but her father's military service with the Austrian Gendarmerie "is of issue."

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Houston Gilfoy said the museum's social media team shared the story without fully understanding the historical context.

"The timing of sharing the story also demonstrated a lack of sensitivity for which we deeply regret," said Houston Gilfoy in an email.

Houston Gilfoy did not elaborate on why the man's military service was of issue.

She said because it was a personal story donated by his daughter, "the specifics of his military service with the Austrian Gendarmerie are unknown to us."

Houston Gilfoy said going forward, the social media team will work more closely with the museum's historians to ensure the historical context of stories are fully understood.

"A review of all older content in our story collection will begin to ensure that this kind of thing does not happen again," said Houston Gilfoy.

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