Adolph Hitler was an evil 20th-century genocidal Nazi dictator. Voldemort is the evil wizard of the Harry Potter series. The distinction between the two is important to bear in mind when reading the following story: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who chairs the Democratic National Committee is, or claims to be, outraged that Marco Rubio would hold a fund-raiser at the Dallas home of Harlan and Kathy Crow. The Crows own a large collection of historical memorabilia. Or, as Politico puts it in its lead sentence about the story, “Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants Marco Rubio to cancel his presidential fundraiser Tuesday evening at the home of a real estate investor who has collected art from Adolf Hitler and who also owns a signed copy of ‘Mein Kampf.’”
Unless the signed copy reads “To my good friend Harlan Crow,” it is hard to discern the scandalous element here. Crow shows no signs of affinity for the Nazi regime. He just collects a lot of stuff:
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.
Compounding Wasserman Schultz’s alleged grievance on behalf of the Jewish people is the timing of the event. (Politico: “The Florida lawmaker and DNC chairwoman remarked that Rubio is ‘adding insult to injury’ by holding the event at the home of Harlan Crow and his wife Kathy in the tony Dallas suburb of Highland Park, Texas, on the eve of Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day.”) The question, though, is whether there is anything wrong with being in the same building as items once owned by Adolph Hitler. If there is, doing so on the eve of Yom Kippur wouldn’t seem to worsen the crime. If not, it does not seem to matter. Unless Wasserman Schultz believes the items are Horcruxes that Crow is protecting and may somehow transfer Hitlerian evil powers onto Rubio.