Die Führertoilette Disappears into a Private Collection
A toilet once used by Adolf Hitler has disappeared from public view,
entering a private collection.
It might now be owned by a Hitler-obsessed billionaire
who exerts strong influence over a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
In 2014 I was in New Jersey doing consulting work.
I had read that Adolf Hitler's toilet
had somehow ended up in an automobile repair garage nearby,
so of course I went looking for it.
My timing was fortunate,
because just four months later the garage owner sold the toilet.
Who purchased Hitler's toilet?
That's not clear.
The few reports I have been able to track down have been vague,
and they seem to confuse the early 2015 sale with its planned appearance
in 2012 on a U.K. television show.
Absolute Power Corrupting Absolutely
Propublica on the undisclosed travel gifts
In April 2023 Propublica published multiple articles detailing how
a billionaire from Texas with a fixation on Adolf Hitler
and a collection of Nazi memorabilia,
had been treating U.S. Supreme Court Justice
to luxury trips around the world for the past twenty years.
The billionaire had also made questionable real estate purchases
from Thomas and his family.
Thomas had reported none of these gifts and transactions.
Propublica on the undisclosed real estate transactions
About a week later, Propublica reported on Crow's 2014 purchase
of real estate from Thomas, including the house in which Thomas's elderly
mother continued to live.
He immediately began improvements costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Propublica on the undisclosed tuition payments
And then a few weeks after that, Propublica reported on how Crow
paid over $6,000 per month for a relative of Thomas to attend
private boarding schools.
It may have added up to over $150,000 depending on how much of the boy's
education Crow paid for.
Real estate heir and billionaire Harlan Crow at left,
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at right.
Thomas receives a $285,000 annual salary.
That's a nice annual income in a position guaranteed for life,
but inadequate for his Crow-funded lifestyle.
Even if you add the $120,000 salary his wife Ginni receives from
a Tea Party group that has tried to overturn
the 2020 Presidential election results,
that still wouldn't be enough.
A typical one of these trips,
of which there was at least one most years,
would have cost Thomas over $500,000
if he had chartered the jet and yacht and large staff on his own.
A federal disclosure law,
5 U.S. Code § 13104,
was created after Watergate.
It requires Supreme Court Justices along with most other government officials
to disclose the details of most real estate sales over $1,000.
Crow paid Thomas $133,363 for the property in 2014.
Laws also require the Justices to report all gifts worth more than $415.
It explicitly states that it does not apply to transportation,
such as intercontinental private jet flights and
inter-island luxury yacht cruises.
Well, those are just laws, and so they don't really apply to the elite.
There is a formal code of conduct for federal judges below the Supreme Court.
It requires them to avoid even "the appearance of impropriety".
John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,
has written that Supreme Court Justices "consult" that code,
but they judge themselves.
It's not as if a Supreme Court Justice can't legally accept
lavish gifts and and sell real estate.
But there are federal laws saying they must report it.
Thomas reported one private jet trip provided by Crow in 1997,
but none since.
Crow's personal jet is a Global 5000 variant of Bombardier's Global Express,
which cost $50 million in 2018.
It's expensive to operate,
burning 2,300 kg of fuel in the first hour of high-speed cruise,
and with 8,000-hour engine overhauls costing $4 million.
But it can carry eight to nineteen passengers
up to 5,200 nautical miles at an altitude up to 51,000 feet,
easily crossing the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans non-stop
while cruising at Mach 0.88 or 504 knots.
That's Thomas and Crow, their wives,
and four to fifteen conservative lobbyists and business owners
off for a week of private access to a Supreme Court Justice.
Crow's jet is registered as N900GX, but it's
blocked for flight tracking.
Crow's yacht is the Michaela Rose, registered in the U.K.,
with with IMO number 1002756 and MMSI 233731000.
It's 43 meters long with a beam of 8 meters,
so it's often described as a "superyacht" although it isn't in the same class
as those of Russian oligarchs and Saudi royalty.
It can be tracked at these and other ship-tracking sites:
"I prefer the RV parks.
I prefer the Walmart parking lots to the beaches and things like that."
— Clarence Thomas, in a documentary funded by Harlan Crow
What's the Possible Hitler Connection?
In addition to oil paintings by
Pierre-August Renoir, and
and historical documents from Juan Ponce de Leon,
George Washington, and (inevitably)
Robert E Lee,
Harlan Crow owns a significant collection of Nazi memorabilia.
This includes watercolor paintings made by Hitler,
and a signed copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf.
Crow is a billionaire with oligarch behavior and an interest in Hitler.
We certainly have Means and Motive for its purchase.
Visiting Hitler's Toilet in New Jersey
Greg Kohfeldt's garage in Florence, New Jersey,
home to the toilet from Hitler's yacht from 1952 to 2015.
I visited while I was teaching a
Linux server course
to Merrill Lynch in nearby Trenton.
As described in detail on the
Hitler's state yacht ended up in a New Jersey shipyard.
Anything with a swastika or other Nazi imagery had to be destroyed,
and then the ship was scrapped starting in 1951.
The shipyard owner started by selling smaller pieces —
furniture, teak decking, portholes, and a toilet and at least one sink.
The shipyard owner was close friends with a man who owned an auto repair
shop that needed a toilet, so it was installed there in 1952.
Greg Kohfeldt bought that repair shop in 1994.
He didn't care where the plumbing came from,
the toilet had been installed before Greg was born and it was simply
a functioning toilet.
Local people knew about it,
and it would catch the attention of a features writer at a newspaper
or magazine from time to time.
People would come to see it, possibly use it,
and as long as they didn't get in the way of Greg's busy repair business,
he didn't care.
By the time of my visit in September 2014,
it had been detached from its 1952–2012 installation.
Greg still had it, it sat off to one side in his garage.
In 2012 the producers of the British television show Four Rooms,
said to be similar to the U.S. Antiques Roadshow,
offered to fly Greg and his wife to London for a week in a luxury hotel.
He would just have to unfasten the toilet and prepare it and the associated
sink for shipment.
The show would pay for their airfare,
the shipping for the toilet and sink
(you can't transport large plumbing fixtures as luggage),
and the week in the hotel.
The Four Rooms episode was recorded,
with various historians and experts on unusual collectables
providing their analysis.
The plan was for the toilet and sink to be auctioned after their appearance
on the show.
that episode of Four Rooms was never broadcast,
and the auction plan was dropped.
The Four Rooms producers shipped the toilet and sink back to New Jersey.
Not carefully enough, because the sink was broken into several pieces.
Two years later I was in the area teaching a course,
and visited the garage.
At this point the story becomes vague.
Greg, the owner of the garage, was never terribly interested in the objects.
They just led weird people from all over, like me,
to show up and interrupt his work.
I tried very hard to not be a distraction,
but I'm sure that some visitors over the years brought all work to a halt
until he could get them out of his garage.
Hitler's toilet and sink are no longer in the garage.
I have read multiple articles,
quite possibly based on a single original article,
saying that the toilet (and, I assume, the broken sink parts)
were purchased and taken away in January 2015.
However, none of the articles explained who purchased them,
or where they were taken.
Some articles present somewhat mixed-up details of the
2012 Four Rooms episode.
If you ask me for my opinion on where Hitler's nautical toilet and sink
ended up —
and if you don't ask the Toilet Guru,
I don't know who you would ask instead —
I would suggest an investigation of Harlan Crow's various compounds.
His estate in Dallas,
his private lake resort Camp Topridge in upstate New York,
and other properties.
Or maybe it's on board the Michaela Rose,
as it was specially designed to be the head on Hitler's state yacht.
Meanwhile, in Other Hitler Toilet News
New York Post
The US Sun
In February 2021, several of the tabloid publications favored by conservatives
reported on the sale of a different Hitler Toilet.
Ot at least the seat and lid.
On February 8, 2021,
Alexander Historical Auctions
of Chesapeake City, Maryland, U.S., auctioned a wooden toilet seat and lid
that a U.S. soldier had removed from Hitler's Berghof retreat at
Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, in 1945.
The soldier, Ragnvald C. Borch, was a Military Policeman.
This allowed him to easily clear the toilet seat and other items
for shipment to his fiancé in the U.S.
The seat and lid were accompanied by two snapshots of Borch and a
satirical anti-Hitler newspaper clipping.
The collection sat in the basement of the family's home until being
auctioned in 2021.
The seat, lid, and accompanying items were expected to bring at least
$15,000 after a starting bid of $5,000.
They brought £ 13,750,
worth about US$ 18,840 in February 2021.
And who purchased those Hitler items?
No one is saying.
Trump's Toilet of Treason