National Archive

After the war, people who have been active in the Nationaal Socialistische Beweging (‘National Socialist Movement’, N.S.B.), have been investigated to see if they should be prosecuted. Farwerck was of course one of them.

One biography quotes from these files and it took me quite a while before I located them and then again some time before I managed to check them myself.

There are three dossiers. Yesterday I saw two of them. There is also a dossier with N.S.B. clippings, but this one lays in the National Institute for War Documentation in Amsterdam (NIOD). I went to the National Archive in Den Haag (the Hague). The dossier is registered under CABR 94240 (PRA Hilversum 4826/A). The file in Amsterdam is registered under ‘DOC-I’ inventory 248-0459.

The dossier in Den Haag actually consists of two dossiers. Both jackets are heavily worn. The same goes for many of the documents! The original jackets are open on the top and bottom and obviously haven’t always been kept too well.

The first dossier consists the investigations into Farwerck. It starts with an interview with none less than Anton Mussert, the head of the N.S.B. The interview is typed on normal paper and goes seamlessly over in the next interview. I guess somebody was asked to type out the interviews and just started on page one and continued typing until all interviews were done. Somewhere in between there are the interviews with Farwerck himself.

It is quite clear that every new interviewee was familiar with the content of the previous interview, since frequently references are made, confirming or contradicting what was said.

The dossier is ‘fist thick’ as we say in Dutch and lacks structure. First there are typed out interviews, then follow more (other / later?) interviews, there are handwritten declarations of Farwerck and his brother (it looks like Franz also talks for his brother), letters and notes from different people. The number of people interviewed is quite staggering.

I could only make notes, but there is way too much information to read attentively, so I stuck to scanning the documents, note what seemed of interest and I’ll have a look at my mere five pages of notes later. I didn’t run into ‘groundbreaking’ information. A few things are interesting enough to look into better or shed new light on some events. I’ll rewrite the biography a little, but since most information is about Farwerck’s N.S.B. membership, only a little.

Interesting is the interview with the director of a Theosophical bookshop in Amsterdam. Farwerck was a frequent visitor and later when he joined the N.S.B., he asked the man to be his secretary. The man says: “I was a Theosophist and so was Farwerck”. He also says that the owners of the shop were Freemasons (Van Ginkel and Duwaer?) and he was allowed to sell Masonic literature which includes Farwerck’s brochures. I guess this explains how even the most obscure of Farwerck’s writings have found their way to the Theosophical library in Amsterdam.

Also the role of Willy Farwerck, his wife and their sons became a bit clearer. All (two sons) were members of National Socialist organisations.

The other file seems to be the investigation into Veneta, probably because it cooperated with the occupying forces. In these files we can see that Farwerck was one of some 10 directors and Willy Farwerck was committee member.

This file mostly contains financial information about Veneta, with here and there a statement by or an interview with one of the directors.

Other noticeable things. Farwerck was “anti-mofs”, he opposed the occupying forces from Germany. Just after the Germans invaded the Netherlands, members of the N.S.B. were arrested (including Willy Farwerck, Franz had realized that he better remained under the radar for a couple of days), so it is not like the Dutch National Socialists were immediately on good terms with their German counterparts.
When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the N.S.B. was forced to adopt the German position on Jews and Freemasons and from day one Mussert was made clear that Farwerck was a problem. Mussert informed Farwerck about this. In his interview, Mussert said that he cut off all contact with Farwerck to prevent him being taken to a concentration camp, but later interviewees debunked that notion.

When the capitulation of the Netherlands was official, Farwerck appeared in public again, but the problems within the N.S.B. began to be so serious that he (officially) stepped down in 1940. Still, years later (1943) he is still present at meetings, even wearing his uniform.

There are some things that I have to try to put into a time-line to try to make sense of.

So all in all I think the visit to the National Archive was fruitful, but it didn’t bring anything groundbreaking.

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