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De Opmarsch

On a search for possible new information, I ran into a texts in a local newspaper. De Limburger of 31 May 1935 announced a new magazine called De Opmarsch which means “The Advancement”. In Dutch there is more stress on the “mars” part which in English would be “march(ing)”. Given the time, the title is a reference to advancing troupes in war, but you could also use the expression to say that a soccer team is doing well. Or of course a political party.

In any case, De Opmarsch was initially a pamphlet for the political party “R.K. Staatspartij” or “Roman Catholic State Party”. They published De Opmarsch for their campaign, but it immediately became a bi-weekly newsletter of 8 or so pages.

The mentioned newspaper De Limburger of the said date, has a lengthy quote from De Opmarsch (which I translated for you):

In the year 1911, therefore twenty-four years ago, Mr. F. E. Farwerck was ordained as a brother in the International Mixed Masonic Order “le Droit Humain” and, as is obvious, he obtained the first or Apprentice Degree.
At the end of 1911 he obtained the Fellowcraft Degree and shortly afterwards (a diligent student!) the third or Master Degree.
Higher and higher his influence and power grew and so gradually he reached the 30th degree. About eight years ago he had even reached the 33rd degree and was promoted to General Chairman or Grand Master, as the photographic image of the document (printed in “De Opmarsch”) clearly proves.
In those days the National Council of that order consisted, apart from Brother Farwerck, also of the Grand Orator J. L. G. van Meerwijk, the Grand Chancellor G. van Poeteren, the Grand Secretary A. Kerdijk, and the Grand Treasurer V. Hendryckx, all of the thirtieth degree.

This is a remarkably well-informed piece of writing! Apparently, until now no ‘Farwerck-investigator’ knew about this text (or the quoted source), since before I discovered myself that Farwerck had been initiated in 1911, people copied each other’s information saying that it was 1918. Here we have somebody who not only new the year of initiation, but also the year of passing, raising, acquiring the 30th and 33rd degree. Somebody did his/her homework and/or had an inside source.

Of course the text, like the earlier translated “The Secretive Lodge Around Bro. Farwerck“, which is but a month older, is fairly ‘steering’. Alright, Farwerck was fairly quick to receive his 2nd and 3rd degree, but since his lodge was one in the making, that is not too strange. Also, still today there are Americans who receive all three degrees in the same weekend. Farwerck’s 30th and 33rd degree were somewhat rapid, but not extremely so. Again, there are Americans who receive 33 degrees in one weekend. Farwerck needed 11 years.

The text appears to have been written by somebody not too well versed in the subject. The word “wijden” (“ordained”) is used rather than “inwijden” (“initiated”) and the title isn’t correct either.

The author of the text somehow got some note of the National Council members of Farwerck’s time. Farwerck’s installation as ‘big cheese’ has undoubtedly been published in the internal news channels of his organisation and maybe some external channels too. That doesn’t explain how the author knew the correct year of initiation, etc. It would be a bit odd to state: “Our new representative of the National Council has been initiated in 1911, passed and raised in the same year, received his 30th degree in in 1917 and the 33rd in 1922. It is not impossible either of course.

One thing that really got me going is the sentence: “as the photographic image of the document (printed in “De Opmarsch”) clearly proves.” So De Opmarsch published some sort of internal document of Le Droit Humain? Of course I have been looking for the periodical. I found the first four issues online. Besides the cartoon that I already know, there is no text in these issues that were quoted in De Limburger.

For some reason a lot of material from the period has been made publicly and digitally available, but not De Opmarsch. Since it was a frequent publication with only a few pages, I can’t find issues second hand either, so currently I’m left to wonder what the clear proof of De Opmarsch really was.

Too bad that De Limburger doesn’t say to what issue it refers, but since this article is from 31 May 1935 and I did find the Opmarschs until 4 April 1935, it has to be the 11, 18 or 25 April 1935 or 2, 9, 16, 23 or 30 May 1935. I hope to find a source to have a look.

De Opmarsch seems to have appeared between 1935 and 1940. The Roman Catholic State Party was a 1926 continuation of a party that was founded in 1918. From that very year all the way up to 1945 the party made it to national politics (and regional). After the war it merged with another party. It contained at least two more Farwerck caricatures.

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