Highland Park, Texas real estate magnate Harlan Crow owns a collection of historic artifacts that any history museum would love to have. Indeed, in 2013, Mr. Crow made a zoning request to the Highland Park government for the purpose of turning his home into an official private museum.
Here is an excerpt from a 2013 article published by the Dallas Morning News.
Harlan Crow’s collection of historic documents and artifacts has inspired an unusual zoning request. The real estate magnate asked Highland Park to rezone his estate as a residence and a historical collection.
If the request is approved, Crow’s Preston Road home could become a private museum, complete with paid archivists, librarians, security and scholars in residence. Guests would visit by invitation or appointment only, according to the zoning application.
Crow, 64, keeps his collection in a private library in the mansion. It includes oil paintings of U.S. presidents, letters from Thomas Jefferson and the Wright brothers, a model of the Titanic and paintings by Adolf Hitler. . .
. . . He also has artifacts from the SS Athenia, the first British ship sunk by Nazi Germany during World War II. His mother, Margaret Crow, survived the ship’s sinking.
Crow is friends with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and gave him Frederick Douglass’ Bible. He helped finance the Pin Point Heritage Museum in Georgia, which marks the area’s heritage and a cannery where Thomas’ mother worked. Crow’s family also donated $10 million for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
His private library holds more than 8,000 rare books and artifacts, including a Senate roll call sheet from Justice Thomas’ confirmation and doodled notes of Abraham Lincoln, according to news reports.
Mr. Crow’s historical collection contains artifacts pertaining to historical figures both famous and infamous. One of the infamous ones is Adolf Hitler. That one little detail has caused a ruckus.
On September 22nd, Mr. Crow hosted a fundraiser for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. Prior to the event, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement.
So what else is in Mr. Crow’s collection?
Here is an excerpt from another article published by the Dallas Morning News.
Over the past 40 years, Crow has collected thousands of documents, manuscripts and works of art that span centuries. “Many people have their own hobbies and have vocations,” he said. “American history is mine.”
Among his favorites, Crow counts an Abraham Lincoln syllogism about the evils of slavery, a copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac and a letter written in 1493 by Christopher Columbus, after his first trip to the New World. The collection has paintings by Renoir and Monet and by Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
A sculpture garden includes likenesses of Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, the late British prime minister.
It also has busts of dictators, including Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito. Crow has said the collection is not intended as a celebration of repressive regimes but to preserve a part of world history.
Crow said invited guests visit the library about once a week. They range from single visitors to groups of 50 or 60 people. The library drew one of its largest crowds last year, when several hundred people attended a Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society tour.
In short, Mr. Crow doesn’t own a “Hitler museum” or a “Nazi museum”. Instead, he owns a de facto museum of world history. So, why is Debbie Wasserman Schultz ranting about a fundraiser for Senator Rubio taking place on Mr. Crow’s estate?
Was it really a faux pas for the fundraiser to take place on the same evening as the beginning of Yom Kippur?
That question can be debated by reasonable people. However, let’s keep in mind another possible reason why Debbie Wasserman Schultz made her rant: Harlan Crow uses his estate to raise funds for Republicans. It could be that the congresswoman’s rant is a smokescreen to cover her real intention, which is to prevent Mr. Crow from providing such support to Republicans.