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Carl Wilhelm Farwerck (1892-1964)

Franz’ brother, Carl Wilhelm, or Willy, is frustrating to investigate. He followed his brother on several adventures, but remained so much in Franz’ shadow that he is hardly ever mentioned.

What I found out is that he was born on 10 September 1892 in Amsterdam. On December 7th 1920 he married Johanna Borrius. On the right you can a cut-out of the marriage photo which was sent to me by a grandson of the couple. The couple had three sons. Otto Hans, 1922, Willem Arnoud, 1925 and Kees Jan 1930. The latter married “mrs. Farwerck“. Willem Arnoud moved to France (and became a horse rider), the other two sons stayed in the Netherlands.

Willy’s and Franz’ father (also called Franz just as his father before him) was born in Schöppingen, Germany. He married in 1888, received the Dutch nationality in 1904 and lived in Amsterdam at the time. Like his son Franz, F.O.H.R. Farwerck died in Hilversum. The family appears to have moved there late 1913 or early 1914. In april 1914 they lived at the Emmastraat 58.

Willy has long been a member of the “Amstelodamum Society”, a group investigating the history of Amsterdam. They had a monthly periodical and published year-books. Many of these year-books can be found online and they list their members and donators with address. This allows me to follow Willy Farwerck’s ‘movements’ a little.

He joined Amstelodamum in 1920 and a year later he is listed as living at the Pieter de Hoochstraat 18 in Amsterdam. If this is the same building today, I think the newly-weds lived in an apartment. (Strangely enough, in 1917 he lived at the Viottastraat according to another source.)

In 1923 Willy is listed as living at the Keizersgracht 98 in Amsterdam. By then they had one son. The house is quite impressive and imagine having to buy a building at the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam today! It is only a few doors away from where the Ritman Library is nowadays by the way.
This address is also the one that Willy used in his Masonic function (see later).

From 1929 on Willy is listed with Viottastraat 40 as address. Strange if that was his address in 1917 too. Perhaps the former house of his parents?

In a newspaper announcement from 1943 it says that C.W. Farwerck moved from Amsterdam to the Emmastraat 58. This could fit the story about Franz’ brother replacing the personnel in the garden house during the war.

In a phone-book from 1950 in I ran into a listing in which both C.W. and F.E. Farwerck are listed at Emmastraat 60 in Hilversum! This was the address of the garden house behind Emmastraat 58? The brothers’ mother had passed away in 1920 and their father in 1930, so that can’t be a reason for them living in the garden house. I guess the two addresses were mixed up sometimes.

In a newspaper from 1933 Willy is said to have bought a piece of ground at the Bussummerweg in Blaricum. His son Kees Jan and his wife “mrs. Farwerck” have lived in Blaricum, so my guess it this was for them.


Back in time. Carl Wilhelm was initiated into the Le Droit Humain lodge Christiaan Rosenkreutz on April 29th 1917, address Viottastraat in Amsterdam, quite a drive. He seems to have been initiated by his own brother. That the drive was too long is suggested by the fact that Willy, Franz and Willy’s wife Johanna (initiated 1921) started one of two short-lived lodges in Amsterdam in 1925. Of course there will be other reasons for starting a new lodge. When Willy resigned from his lodge, only this new lodge is mentioned, so it indeed seems that he switched lodges closer to home.

Willy’s Masonic career was not as storming as that of his brother, but he did make it to be master of the lodge Hiram Abiff in Amsterdam in 1933, following his brother. In 1925 he chaired the lodge-in-the-making Eenheid (‘unity’) in Amsterdam, but this never seems to have become a real lodge. Before that he had been Orator (1922) and Almoner (1928) in his mother lodge Christiaan Rosencreutz. Besides Hiram Abiff he was also involved in the Utrecht lodge Ken U Zelven (‘know thy self’).

Willy was to reach the 32º and besides that he has been in charge of the real estate of Le Droit Humain for some time. He also was Grand Secretary (secretary of the Dutch federation) for several years. He also had that function in his lodge(s).
Besides a few reports, announcements and letters in his functions, I know of only one article by Carl Wilhelm. It was published in the 4th Bouwsteenen of 1929 and is about the Rosicross. A well-written article which reminds of the style and content of his brother, were it not that C.W. does not shy to refer to Blavatsky. The text is also listed as a brochure in some advertisements of the publisher. I have never found a copy of it though. I know of a few lectures he gave for lodges, but I only have titles.

That Willy Farwerck had ‘spiritual interests’ shows by a correspondence between him and “parapsychologist” Georges Zorab that is kept in the Royal Library in The Hague.


Carl Wilhelm followed Franz in another way: he also joined the National Socialist Movement. What is strange in this story is that Franz joined the N.S.B. in 1932 and ‘immediately’ left Le Droit Humain. Willy, on the other hand, only requested to be let go (together with Meerwijk and his wife) from Le Droit Humain on 14 juni 1940. By that time his brother was almost removed from the N.S.B. and I can’t imagine that in that summer Willy wouldn’t have known about the storm that Franz has landed in. Still Willy seems to have strongly supported the new regime as we will see.

It seems unlikely that Willy joined the N.S.B. shortly after Franz, but also remained a Freemason. His brother didn’t find these two memberships compatible. Besides, Willy’s brothers and sisters probably wouldn’t have found the two memberships compatible, since Franz was also already put under pressure to resign. So did C.W. join the N.S.B. years after his brother?

Willy seems to have tried to influence Freemasonry in ‘an N.S.B. direction’ from within. In their request for resignation, the two Meerwijks and Willy Farwerck say that definite changes are happening which they compare to “1789” (the French revolution I assume) and not a short period of change.
In this new situation there is no place for Freemasonry, so the three (later five other members of their lodge Hiram Abiff left as well) tried to have the Dutch federation dismantled. When the council didn’t comply, the Meerwijks and Carl Wilhelm resigned.

So in a way, Willy was perhaps even more radical than his brother (who later in his life tried to become a member again), at least, he took action to reach his goals.

This membership list seems evidence enough that Willy and one of his sons have been members of the N.S.B. Another son seems to have been a member too and also C.W.’s wife.


Where Franz’ ‘civil career’ is good to follow, of Willy I have found only one hint. There is an advertisement of 1921 from a factory called Durit in which C.W. Farwerck is listed with his Keizersgracht address. The next line mentions a representative. This suggest that C.W. may have been director, but where his brother reached the papers a director of his carpet and glass factories several times, I haven’t found anything more with Carl Wilhelm.

What I do know is that C.W. was a committee member of the Veneta carpet factories as he was sacked in May 1945 together with his brother. Many years later Willy’s son Kees Jan was a board member though.

A few photos of Willy’s wife and his first two sons can be found online.

And that is it for now. C.W.’s life-story reminds of that of F.E., but with less noticeable heights and therefor ‘less limelight’.

Carl Wilhelm Farwerck passed away on 26 March 1964, 71 years of age. Not too bad, but Franz became 80 and C.W.’s wife 92! As you can see on the right, C.W. seems to have lived at his brother’s address, Emmastraat 58.


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