November 12, 2008
Veterans Angry at German Soldier Ad
A U.S. Internet genealogy company that ran a newspaper ad featuring a picture of a German soldier rather than an Allied one has angered Canadian veterans.
Last weekend, ahead of Remembrance Day observations Tuesday, the Ancestry.ca site ran a half-page color ad in a Toronto newspaper offering free Internet database searches on ancestors who served in World War I, the Globe and Mail reported.
Titled "My Grandfather. My Hero," the gun-toting soldier ad's picture was quickly determined by military experts to be a German.
Among those who began calling the Generations Network, a Utah company that owns Ancestry.ca, was Canadian history buff Kevin Nikkel, who had three uncles fight in World War II.
"I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the picture of the German soldier," he told the newspaper. "It's an outrage to the memory of those who died fighting for this country."
Company spokeswoman Karen Peterson told the Globe it was a "devastating mistake" but declined to elaborate on how it happened.
"We're so sincerely apologetic for this unfortunate error," she said. "We are taking steps to ensure that this won't happen again."