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Ons Eigen Volk / Our Own People

After all these years I still run into new publications in which Farwerck has published. This time a periodical named “Ons Eigen Volk”, meaning “Our Own People”. The title immediately suggests that it is one from the “Völkish” milieu.

“Ons Eigen Volk” was published by the “Nederlands Volkskundig Genootschap” or “Dutch Folkloristic Society”. The contemporary “Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur” (“Dutch Centre for Folk-culture”) says that one of their predecessors is the Dutch Folkloristic Society and that this was started after the war in 1949. Another source says that “Eigen Volk” was initially a periodical of an academic organisation. This society was strained by WWII and abandoned after the war. In 1949 a new society with the same name was founded.

Main editor J. Rasch writes in the first issue that he had worked for the periodical “Ons Volk” (“Our People”) for 11 years when the publisher thought it didn’t bring enough money. Rasch took things in his own hands, found another publisher and slightly changed the name.

The names of cooperators in the first issue of 1940 contain two familiar names: H.J. Bellen and M. van de Velde. The first was an early layman archaeologist, the other a fellow Theosophist who knew Farwerck. Van de Velde was an active contributor until the end. He proves to have more incommon with Farwerck than Theosophy.
A contributor of the first issue was poet August Heyting and also Egbert Smedes sent in a text.

It is fairly safe to say that Farwerck must have known from this magazine since the beginning. Yet, there is no sign of him in the first year of publication.

In the second year a cooperation with a Frisian society took place, yet this year was considerably more moderate in size. From 340 pages in the first year to 170 in the second. In this second year we again find Heyting, Van de Velde and some familiar names from these circles. Farwerck is only listed as a source in one of the articles.

The third year the Frisians no longer cooperated, there was a new publisher and the whole year made good for almost 400 pages of articles, including one of Farwerck. The text is called “Holderdebolder” for which he gives the English counterpart “herley burley” himself. It is his only contribution and he is nowhere mentioned as a source. August Heything is only mentioned in passing, is no longer a contributor, but he was still listed as cooperator.

Farwerck doesn’t reappear. Heything keeps being mentioned as cooperator. Van de Velde is active until the end, but towards the last issue that I have found of late 1944. more and more texts are of either main editor Rasch or J.B. Vries (Jan Bartele) with only here and there a text of another author. Vries was born in 1911 and killed in Berlin in a bombardment in 1944. Apparently he had written enough to keep filling the pages of “Ons Eigen Volk” until the end.

“Eigen Volk” appears to have been right up to Farwerck’s alley and there are names involved of people he probably knew. Perhaps he didn’t like them much or there was someone in particular he didn’t like much which would explain why he was inactive.

Could the reason have been the main editor? “J. Rasch” appears to have been a Johannes Rasch (1874-1945) who in 1940 published the book “Ons Volk” (‘our people’), a compendium of the periodical he said to have contributed to before “Ons Eigen Volk”? Farwerck isn’t mentioned at all. The eminent Dutch scholar of ‘Germanology’ Jan de Vries (1890-1964) was of the opinion that Rasch (and Bellen) was not scientific enough and published too easily. I can imagine Farwerck leaning more towards the De Vries side of the argument, yet it remains strange that he did contribute one text. Perhaps somebody close to both Rasch and Farwerck talked him into it.

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