Clarence Thomas’ Billionaire Buddy Has a Vast Collection of Hitler Paintings, Nazi Memorabilia
Following the news of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ unethical friendship with GOP megadonor Harlan Crow, more details about the Texas real estate mogul have emerged, including a report that Crow is an avid collector of Adolf Hitler items.
The Washingtonian on Friday resurfaced a 2014 article by the Dallas Morning News where a tour of Crow’s Dallas-area mansion revealed the billionaire’s historical collection includes a startling amount of Nazi memorabilia, including a copy of Mein Kampf signed by the author himself, a pair of the failed artist-turned-dictator’s cityscape paintings, Nazi medallions, swastika-embossed linens and more.
Somehow less alarming but still strange is the “Garden of Evil” in Crow’s backyard, where statues of infamous despots like Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito, and Russia’s Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin reside.
While Crow was reluctant to discuss his collection with the Dallas Morning News at the time, he did make sure to note that he did not commission the dictator statues; rather they were actual monuments that resided in public squares of the dictators’ countries until they were toppled by citizens at the end of their regimes. The statues were then smuggled out of their respective countries, with Crow purchasing them to construct a garden oasis dedicated to “man’s inhumanity to man,” as the Dallas Morning News wrote.
While Crow’s vast historical collection does boast plenty of impressive items — like signed documents by George Washington and Christopher Columbus, a Winston Churchill statue, Monet paintings and other noteworthy non-fascist things — strolling through Crow’s gallery could be a bit jarring: As the newspaper wrote, when gazing at the walls of Crow’s home, paintings by Norman Rockwell and George W. Bush are adjacent to those done by Hitler.
“I still can’t get over the collection of Nazi memorabilia,” a visitor of Crow’s home told the Washingtonian. “It would have been helpful to have someone explain the significance of all the items. Without that context, you sort of just gasp when you walk into the room.”
On Friday, following the ProPublica report into GOP megadonor Crow’s showering of Thomas with gifts — including luxury getaways, trips aboard superyachts and more — the Supreme Court Justice said in a statement that he didn’t see what all the fuss was about.
“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over twenty-five years. As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter century we have known them,” the conservative justice said in a statement, adding that he was told he didn’t need to report “this sort of personal hospitality” and that he will adhere to new Judicial Conference guidelines in the future.