Senior chief at Thunder Bay, Ont., hospital eliminated after Nazi imagery found on his social media

WARNING: This story comprises pictures, language that could also be distressing.

The hospital in Thunder Bay, Ont., has eliminated a senior official from a management council for violating its social media policy after pictures of Nazi-affiliated objects had been found on his Facebook web page.

Keith Taylor would additionally not be serving because the co-chair of the affected person household advisory council on the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), where he had volunteered for greater than a decade, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday, citing the hospital’s social media policy.

He posted greater than a dozen occasions to his public Facebook web page, principally in 2012, with pictures of swastikas, a bronze sculpture of Adolf Hitler and a navy badge, amongst other objects.

One put up, concerning the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, used a slur towards people of Asian heritage; other posts made jokes about Nazis, together with one remark with Taylor calling somebody “my little nazi.”

CBC News was first made conscious of those posts Sunday, after being contacted by an worker on the hospital.

“The individual mentioned in your request is not an employee of TBRHSC, and is no longer serving in a voluntary role on the patient and family advisory council,” hospital spokesperson Marcello Bernardo stated in an emailed assertion Tuesday morning.

Bernardo stated it was an inner human assets matter, however cited the hospital’s social media policy in his assertion and declined additional remark.

The caption for this photograph on Taylor’s Facebook web page says, “I am not a Nazi, just a history buff.” His rationalization about why these things had been posted on social media was rejected by a number of Holocaust consultants who spoke with CBC News. (Keith Taylor/Facebook)

It wasn’t till talking with CBC News that Taylor stated he discovered he was not serving within the voluntary function with the hospital.

“I’m not happy about it,” he advised CBC. “I’ve probably been involved in over a thousand policy developments and changes that would benefit patients.”

He added he understood the choice made by the hospital.

“I’m not a racist. I’m not a Nazi. I’m a man who cares about my community and I’m a history buff.”

Ex-official says he hoped to open museum

Taylor stated he was accumulating the objects in hopes of opening a museum to coach people about navy historical past. It was one thing he stated by no means acquired off the bottom, and since 2012, has donated or given away a lot of the objects to museums or “valid collectors.”

But a number of consultants in Holocaust training and historical past expressed concern to CBC about the way in which the objects had been posted on social media.

During the Second World War, Hitler’s Nazi extermination camps had been answerable for the killings of about six million Jewish people and 5 million non-Jewish people.

Among images of battle memorabilia from numerous nations that a CBC News investigation discovered, 17 pictures or movies with swastikas or other objects or references to Nazis had been posted by Taylor on Facebook.

Several images present Nazi flags with swastikas on them.

On Feb. 22, 2012, Taylor posted his “pic of the day” exhibiting a framed armband used to establish people on the Buchenwald focus camp in Germany.

A screenshot of Taylor’s Facebook web page taken by CBC News on Oct. 17 exhibits Nazi flags with the swastika image on them. (Keith Taylor/Facebook)

“Could you imagine if this band could talk, resources were so scarce these bands were sometimes used a few times over,” the caption stated.

Another photograph put up March 2, 2012, exhibits what Taylor claims to be a “german panzer kill badge … awarded to tankers that achieve multiple kills.”

He added in his caption, “i wear this on my bike vest.”

Attached to a picture of a war-time helmet, Taylor wrote: “hey clem, this one is for you my little nazi, lol.”

Apologizes for hurt induced

In the interview with CBC News, Taylor apologized for hurt brought on by any of the Facebook posts he had shared.

Taylor stated when he posted the photographs, he thought he was sharing them solely with a number of pals that knew about his intent to open a museum, so people might study navy historical past.

The objects from Nazi Germany, together with flags and items with swastikas emblazoned on them, had been simply part of his assortment, Taylor stated, which additionally included historic tools from America, Italy, Russia and Britain.

“I always went to the spot of education. We need to remember this stuff. We need to never forget the atrocities. Ever.”

While he had these things in his residence, Taylor added he gave excursions to a lot of his pals, telling them the historical past and tales of the objects.

“I have no shame in it, honestly. No ill intent there. It was just an educational tool.”

Items carry ‘an ethical duty’

A put up made by Taylor on June 17, 2012, exhibits a sculpture of Hitler’s head that he claims to be from about 1942 and made from strong bronze.

In the caption, Taylor stated, “i am not a nazi, just a history buff.”

It’s an argument met with skepticism by Jody Spiegel, director of the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program on the Azrieli Foundation in Toronto, and incoming chair of the training working group for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

“These are triggering images, and a place like a museum is a space for education and discussion,” Spiegel advised CBC News after viewing the Facebook posts.

“All of these things have a place. They don’t belong in someone’s basement and they don’t belong in social media forums for discussion about how awesome a collection is.”

Jody Spiegel, director of the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program on the Azrieli Foundation, advised CBC the photographs on Taylor’s Facebook web page ‘are triggering pictures, and a spot like a museum is an area for training and dialogue.’ (Jody Spiegel)

Daniel Hannah, president of the Shaarey Shomayim Congregation in Thunder Bay, stated it is arduous to grasp why anybody would wish to accumulate objects related with anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.

“It raises questions about their judgment,” Hannah stated in an emailed assertion to CBC.

He nervous such collections help the enterprise of public sale homes that cater to neo-Nazis, and known as a number of of the photographs “disturbing.”

These symbols do carry an ethical duty … they cannot be divorced from the historical past in which they had been produced.– Valerie Hébert, affiliate professor of historical past at Lakehead University

Valerie Hébert, an affiliate professor of historical past with Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and an knowledgeable in Holocaust training, additionally reviewed a few of Taylor’s Facebook posts.

“These symbols do carry a moral responsibility,” she stated. “They can’t be divorced from the history in which they were produced.”

There is worth in exhibiting and understanding objects from historic intervals alongside with textual content to interpret and contextualize them, Hébert stated, however she known as the way in which in which the Facebook posts displayed the objects “rather cavalier.”

“To think you can continue to trade in and display these kinds of symbols and not be responsible for the ideas that they represent is irresponsible. It’s careless and it’s potentially harmful.”

In response to those considerations, Taylor stated his intention when posting in 2012 was to share new objects he discovered with the few pals he had on Facebook on the time and who knew about his ambition to start out a museum.

He stated he posted the photographs so way back, he forgot they had been nonetheless publicly viewable.

“People are uncomfortable with history. They’re very sensitive and I understand that, but I’m a big believer that we need to remember the ugliest parts of our history.”

Hospital refuses to reply extra questions

Taylor posted all his images in 2012, shortly after he began volunteering for the hospital.

In 2015, Taylor obtained an honourable point out for the Patient Safety Champion award from the Canadian Patient Safety Institute for his work within the improvement and promotion of affected person and family-centred care.

He was nominated by Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, present president and CEO of the Thunder Bay hospital, in keeping with an article printed by the TBRHSC.

The article famous Taylor’s work “has touched many areas of the organization,” together with help in “hiring leaders” and sitting on numerous committees on the hospital.

She described Taylor on the time as “an amazing leader,” saying “we are fortunate to have an individual of his calibre engaged in our work.”

A request for an interview with Crocker Ellacott was denied by the hospital, with Bernardo saying: “As the hospital cannot discuss personnel/HR issues publicly, we are unable to grant an interview.”

The hospital additionally wouldn’t say what particular pictures violated its social media policy or whether or not a proper grievance was filed. It additionally would not touch upon who was answerable for appointing Taylor to his place as co-chair of the affected person household advisory council and for his inclusion within the senior management council.

The hospital additionally didn’t say if it would situation an apology to the general public.

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