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Who was Mrs. Farwerck?

In “Farwerck by his writings” I say:

The publishing house is “Thule” which, in his biography, I list as his own publishing house. That is quite obvious, because Thule has Farwerck’s home address, but at one time another address on the other end of Hilversum, the place where he used to live, is mentioned. I also noticed an advertorial for one of these books, saying that the book can be obtained from the publisher, using the feminine version of the word! So why, and to whom, did he temporarily move his publishing house? That is something I have not yet figured out.

Here is what I figured out so far.

The little book Het Teken van Dood en Herleving (1953) has another address for the publishing house Thule. Most of the time Thule can be reached through Farwerck’s address, this little book has as address Beethovenlaan 11 in Hilversum. Not exactly next door. In one issue of the Nehalennia periodical that I have (also published by Thule), I have a letter of the editors to a reader (probably the original owner of my copies) thanking him for a letter. The letter is signed with what looks like a cluttered version of Farwerck’s autograph with the typical “F”.
The return-address is crossed away and replaced by Emmastraat 58, Franz’ address. The original address says Beethovenlaan 11! Another reason to try to find out who actually lived at this address.

Old phone books can be found online. I have found a few names. At least between 1927 and 1949 a Dierkens lived at the Beethovenlaan 11. Could that be the female publisher that Een der Bronnen refers to in the advertorial at the end?
Newspapers can give information too. There are advertorials from people looking for maids for example. In 1960 one from a mrs. Heineke at this address. In 1952 one from… mrs. Farwerck…?

So who was this mrs. Farwerck? Johanna Borrius, Franz’ brother‘s wife? Willy and Johanna lived with Franz during the war (some of) their children in the garden home. Before that Willy and Johanna lived in Amsterdam. It is sometimes mentioned that Franz spent winters with Willy and Johanna in Amsterdam and they summers with Franz in Hilversum. The war may have forced them to move to Hilversum for a longer period. So much longer that they bought their own house? The Beethovenlaan 11 is quite a house, so it doesn’t really look like a temporary home, but who knows.

Further digging in old newspapers brought up another mrs. Farwerck: “mrs. Farwerck-Hoolboom”, so this is a lady whose maiden name is Hoolboom and who married Kees-Jan Farwerck on 19 december 1958 in Rotterdam. Kees-Jan was the youngest son of Willy, born in 1930. Farwerck-Hoolboom had a daughter who was born in 1959, so she was probably born in the 1920’ies herself.

This could mean that one of his sisters in law may have worked with Farwerck at his publishing house and the Nehalennia periodical. The daughter of Farwerck-Hoolboom played hockey in Hilversum, so would Farwerck-Hoolboom indeed be the “mrs. Farwerck” living on the Beethovenlaan?

Johanna isn’t an unlikely candidate either, since she and her husband worked together with Farwerck on many different things, work-related and otherwise. In that case I have to prove that they have lived at that very address, if only for a while.

Farwerck’s obituary answers a few questions, but not all.

As you can see, in 1969 both Johanna and a son are mentioned as living in Hilversum (Willy has passed away in 1964, so Johanna was a widow by then), but also “K.J. Farwerck” and “Th.W.C. Farwerck-Hoolboom”.

I also have the obituary of Willy from 1964:

Note the address below: Emmastraat 58. If I had to guess, I would say that this is the address of the remaining family (Johanna and son) (it would be strange to mention somebody else’s address for visitors, etc.) and if that is true, Willy and Johanna remained in Hilversum after the war and used the same address and if that is true, Franz’ Thule collaborator could indeed have been his sister in law.

If Willy’s address was Emmastraat 58, Willy and/or Johanna could have been (officially) behind Thule and Nehalennia all along. I thought it to be more likely though that “mrs. Farwerck” is Theodora Wilhelmina Christina Hoolboom, born in 1933 and, at least at the time, living at the Beethovenlaan.

This became less likely when on 20 July 2022 I ran into another ‘version’ of the advertisement. This one was published on 1 August 1952 in the “Provinciale Drentsche en Asser Courant” (“Provincial Drenthe and Assen Gazette”). “Drenthe is a Dutch province, Assen its capital.

This version is interesting for a number of reasons. First, why would it have been published in a local newspaper in the North of the Netherlands, way more northern than were help was needed? Did they expect more respondents there or does the advertiser have roots in these parts?

Another thing that is even more interesting, is that this add speaks of a “family of four adults“. This could refer to Willy, Johanna and two sons (who were all adults in 1952), one of whom left the parental house; or to Franz, Willy, Johanna and one son, It can not have been Kees-Jan, Theodora Hoolboom and children, since Kees-Jan was born in 1930 and Theodora in 1933 and the couple got married late 1958, they can’t impossibly have had two adult children in 1952.

There is another mrs. Farwerck.

In January 1964 she had “2 small children”, so this almost has to be Farwerck-Hoolboom. The address is new: Elzenlaan 59.

So the question remains open. Both Johanna Farwerck-Borrius and Theodore Farwerck-Hoolboom appear to have used “Mrs. Farwerck” to refer to themselves, but it is more likely that it was Johanna, who cooperated with Franz’ publishing efforts than the niece. If Johanna was contact, it is not strange that her address was used. That doesn’t automatically mean that Franz lived at that address as well (but doesn’t rule it out either).


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