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Nico de Haas (1907-1995)

Thus says the title page of Levend Verleden (1937), a book that Farwerck published through ‘his’ group Der Vaderen Erfdeel. Who was the man that took care of the lay-out of the book?

Nicholaas de Haas was born in Amsterdam and in his teens he rolled into radical, left-wing circles. He created images for different magazines. Also he joined the Communist Party and also made illustrations for publications of that party. Late 1936 he would switch to the other political side, joining a nationalistic newspaper led by no one less than Meinoud Rost van Tongeren, Farwerck’s perpetual enemy. Under Rost van Tonningen he would also join the periodical Hamer (‘Hammer’) and he even made it into the SS.

After the war De Haas kept making illustrations, he published his own writings and he started to make films. He escaped prosecution fleeing abroad where he lived in different countries (France, Vietnam, Algeria). In 1958 he returned to Germany. Under the name Bernhard Berger he was an architect. Dutch authorities discovered his real identity, but Germany made little effort to extradite him. This took so long that the case expired after which De Haas could visit The Netherlands again.

Der Vaderen Erfdeel

De Haas was part of the Der Vaderen Erfdeel group that some people call the ‘Farwerck group’. He continued his activities as designer and in that capacity he took care of Farwerck’s Der Vaderen Erfdeel. Him and Farwerck shared some interests too. Both were interested in the universal language of Esperanto. Farwerck and De Haas went against Jan de Vries in their praise for Hermann Wirth.

There were also differences. As we saw, De Haas was on good standing with Rost van Tonningen. The fact that he joined the SS shows that he was more radical and German-centured than Farwerck. It is hard to say on how good terms Farwerck and De Haas were. The fact that De Haas fled after the war makes it impossible that he was also involved in Farwerck’s later publications.

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