Social ideas

In the biography I quote Hans Hoogenboom (see first note there) who quotes the post-war investigation report of Polak in which Farwerck says:

In the Netherlands Masonry keeps away from all political interference and mainly occupies itself with spiritual matters. The idea that one has to work for the fellow man, which lives in Freemasonry, I hoped to be able to practice in the NSB. 

A strange idea, but as we saw there are many suggestions that Farwerck actually did try to improve the situation of the common man. The same Hoogenboom spends some words to this.

Hoogenboom places the local Rotary Club that Farwerck helped to found in 1928 very central in Farwerck’s life. By that time Farwerck was almost 40, almost a factory director for 20 years, so I doubt that it was the Rotary that brought Farwerck his social ideas. Rather the other way around, these ideas triggered Farwerck’s intention to help to find a Rotary Club. Actually this club did exactly what Farwerck hoped to achieve. Perhaps he finally found his platform.

The Rotary is a club of well-off people doing well for society. It was Farwerck who urged his club to do something for ‘defective children‘. Hoogenboom writes:

This concerned the making of car-trips with these children through Het Gooi, the organizing of Saint Nicolas parties, etc. (1)

Hoogenboom also describes how Farwerck wanted to improve the lives of (his) employers. He was member of several committees of several factories to do just that. One of the ways to achieve that is described by Hoogenboom like this:

On enlistment, as was Farwerck’s idea, every laborer had to take a share up to a thousand guilders per stock in the business to raise the capital. In return the laborers got say. This proved to be make-believe. When employers were sacked in 1933 due to ‘business depression’ without any return, problems occurred.

This is in contract with a periodical from 1934 that I found.

I point out to for example, the general leader of propaganda of the N.S.B., mister Farwerck, as president-commissioner of the Glassfactory Leerdam […], that employee participation under his auspices was developed further than in any large company in our country. Here a real attempt is made to breach the class struggle, not through dictatorship, but through a democratic business culture. Alongside each other a red ‘high trade-union chief’ and one of the highest N.S.B. leaders worked to accomplish this.

This is a statement from a contemporary ‘left-leaning’ author. Farwerck’s attempts did not go unnoticed, not even among his adversaries.

Still Farwerck’s former gardener said that not only himself, but also his employers, hated Farwerck. Probably not everything (immediately) worked out as he hoped.

Farwerck seems to have put quite some time in this ideal of his. Initially in committees, later in the Rotary, it even seems that his memberships of Freemasonry and the National Socialist Movement were (partly) guided by this ideal. It would be interesting how this turned out in less pressing times after the war, but I haven’t found anything about that yet.


(1) Dat ging dan om het maken van autoritjes met deze kinderen door het Gooi, om het organiseren van sinterklaasfeesten en dergelijke.

(2) Bij indiensttreding, zo was Farwercks idee, moest elke arbeider ter vorming van een kapitaalfonds een aandeel in de zaak nemen tot duizend gulden per aandeel. In ruil kregen de arbeiders dan medezeggenschap. Maar dat bleek een wassen neus. Toen arbeiders in 1933 per direct wegens ‘bedrijfsslapte’ werden ontslagen zonder dat ze nog iets van hun inleg terugzagen was de boot aan.

(3) Ik wijs er bijv. op, dat de algemeene propagandaleider van de N. S. B., de Heer Farwerck, als presidentcommissaris van de N.V. Glasfabriek Leerdam als opvolger van wijlen den a.r. Oud-Minister Mr, H. v. d. Vegte aan den top van een bedrijf is gekomen, dat de medezeggingschap, als medeverantwoordelijkheid genomen, mede onder zijn auspiciën, zoo ver tracht door te voeren, als nog in geen groot bedrijf in ons land geschiedde. Hier wordt een reëele poging gedaan tot doorbreking van den klassestrijd, niet door middel van een dictatuur, maar door een democratische bedrijfsopbouw. Hieraan werken aldus naast elkander een roode “vakvereenigingsbons” en één der hoogste N. S. B.-leiders.
From De Smidse, maandblad voor moderne religie en humanistische cultuur January 1934

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