Veneta

In 1912 (age 23) Farwerck started a carpet factory. Strangely enough, in 1911 the family Farwerck seems to have moved to Hilversum so that Farwerck senior could start a carpet factory! Can both things be correct?

In 1930 senior was awarded when his carpet factory celebrated its 100th year. That must mean that this factory wasn’t started when the family moved to Hilversum. As a matter of fact, senior wasn’t even born when this factory was started and his parents still lived in Germany. I didn’t realise this, but both senior and junior were present at the celebration.

So what’s the story? The centenary was local news and here and there some history was added to the information.

Tijmen de Wit & Zn.

The firm was called Tijmen de Wit and sons (note the name). It was started in 1830 in Hilversum. H. de Wit entered the company in 1848. Initially the weaving was done manually, but the upcoming steam factories made competition and the WWI brought more problems. Then follows an interesting piece:

Mr. Th. M. de Wit [a son of H. de Wit?], co-owner of the firm, understood, that new paths had to be walked and associated himself in 1915 with mister F.E. Farwerck, owner of a steam-factory, located at the Oosterengweg in Hilversum. Both firms were brought under a new firm with the name Steam Carpet Factory v/h Tijmen de Wit & Sons. (1)

So F.E. indeed had his own factory before it merged with Tijmen. Apparently the other company was bigger, since the merge got the name of Tijmen.

In 1917 the next merge took place. Tijmen & De Wit merged with Hamers & v. Beek and the new name became N.V. Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Tapijtfabrieken (‘Company for the exploitation of carpet factories’).

Then follows another interesting line:

Since the beginning of the year 1915 mister F.O.H.R. Farwerck has been president-commissioner of the firm. In spite of his 74 years of age, he daily works full office hours. (1)

It seems that Farwerck and his father had different functions in the same company.

Veneta

So when exactly was Veneta (Verenigde Nederlandse Tapijtfabrieken, or United Dutch Carpet Factories) born? Strangely enough, the newspaper clipping above still speaks of “de Fa. Tymen De Wit & Zn.” in 1930, while Veneta seems to have been a merge of about 25 (!!) carpet factories from Hilversum around 1920 (hence the name, I guess). Some sources even say that Veneta was a 1913 merge of smaller factories (2).

I suppose Veneta (under whatever name) had its ups and downs during the years, but here we have the beginning and my own remark in the bio “Farwerck started his own carpet factory which in 1915 merged with another company, which again merged later” explained.

The war

The reason why I wanted to look into this subject, is that in the post-war hearing documents, I noticed that Franz and his brother were (more or less?) forced to leave the company in May 1945. I hadn’t really looked at the reason. My guess was that both Farwerck (or: both Farwercks) and Veneta had been under investigation for working with the enemy and after the war the company was cleaned of collaborators. I was curious how Farwerck provided afterwards.

Looking for information about Veneta I ran into a shortly plausible scenario that could have even answered the other question.
There was a carpet factory in Hilversum run by Jews. To prevent it from falling into German hands, the factory was sold to Veneta with the agreement that the family could buy it back after the war. Still, in March 1945 the German occupiers seized the factory. I’m unsure if the same goes for all Veneta factories (3).

These were Germans trying to fight off the allied forces coming from the South though. During the fights the factory was even severely damaged by allied bombings. This can’t be a reason for Farwerck leaving. The documents that I saw must have been part of investigations into Veneta after the war, which makes sense.

To close the sidestep towards the factory owned by the family Prins, all but one of them died in concentration camps and the factory was demolished by allied bombings. Veneta remained owner after the war (3).

After the war

So there we are. When I look for Veneta after the war, I mostly only find that they have sports-teams that play against teams of other factories. I can’t find anything that indicates if Farwerck was active within Veneta.

After a gap

And then there is something interesting. The youngest son of Willy Farwerck was born in 1930, Kees Jan Farwerck. He has played a prominent part in the last years of Veneta. He was part of a somewhat shady attempt to prevent the company from being taken over by a German company. When the German attempt failed, the factory eventually went bankrupt in 1978.

But here we have a family member who is active in ‘Farwercks factory’ decades down the line. What is more, another name that appears in this connection is De Wit! Could that be some descendent of the other carpet factory of the early days? The most likely explanation is that both families kept their tentacles in the company, right?

Looking for information

I would love to find out what happened to Franz Farwerck after 1945 and when Kees Jan Farwerck entered the company (and what happened to him after 1978). Hopefully I’ll find a way to fill these gaps.


(1) Algemeen Dagblad, 30 July 1930

(2) Tussen Vecht En Eem September 1992. Available online when I write this (PDF).

(3) Geknoopt en Geweven 2019. Available online when I write this.

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