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Beethovenlaan 11

On the cover of ‘The symbol of death and rebirth’ (1953) you can see Beethovenlaan 11 as address for the publisher Thule. In most other cases the address is Farwerck’s Emmastraat 58. One other Thule book from the same year, also has Beethovenlaan. I also have a letter that Farwerck sent to a reader of Nehalennia on which he replaced the address Beethovenlaan by Emmastraat. More about that below. There are no issues of Nehalennia with Beethovenlaan as editorial address.

My guess was that somebody lived on Beethovenlaan 11 who cooperated with Farwerck. Years ago I wrote a text called “Who was mrs. Farwerck?” I found that name in combination with this address. Long searching made me conclude that “Mrs. Farwerck” had to be a daughter in law of Willy Farwerck. Now I find another ‘version’ of the “Mrs. Farwerck ad” which makes me doubt about that conclusion.

Here Beethovenlaan 11 is said to house four adults. This can never be K.J. Farwerck and Th.W.C. Hoolboom and their children, since the ad is from 1952 and the two only got married in 1958. The more logical conclusion is that the four adults are Willy Farwerck, Johanna Farwerck, Otto Hans (born 1922, so 30 at the time) and Willem Arnoud (born 1925). But why would Kees Jan (born 1930, so 22, also adult) not be mentioned?

Then we have another range of possibilities. Either of the sons had moved out, to study or whatever. Could Franz have been one of the four adults? Both Otto Hans and Kees Jan are mentioned living at Beethovenlaan 11 in 1952 in different sources, at least, the address was mentioned as their addresses (could be postal addresses too of course). A puzzle that can’t be solved satisfactorily it seems.

Let us have a closer look at the house.

Left is Beethovenlaan 11 today. That is quite like the front view on a 1927 sketch of the house on the right. Contrary to the house where Farwerck spent most years, this house still exists. 1927 Is also the year that this villa was built together with the neighbouring villa (number 9) on the basis of one permit. It appears that before that, there was also a house with the same number.

Beethovenlaan and Emmastraat are not exactly in the same neighbourhood. The houses are/were located at either side of the city centre.

Beethovenlaan 11 was inhabited by a Dierkens, apparently a single man, at least for a while. Dierkens moved to another address in 1950 and the “Mrs. Farwerck” ad is of 1952. In 1960 a very similar ad was placed with similar wording. The application could be sent to a mrs. Heineke. My idea is that this is the maid that is said to be present in the 1952 ad.

The odd and very similar use of “flink” and “goed kunnende koken” are strikingly similar which makes a very strong suggestion that the “Mrs. Farwerck” of 1952 still lived at the Beethovenlaan 11 at the time (and that the ‘main maid’ was called Heineke). That could mean that Farwerck himself moved back to the Emmastraat and lived there until he sold the house to the neighbouring school, while “Mrs. Farwerck” remained at the Beethovenlaan. Or -of couse- he was not one of the “four adults”.

Beethovenlaan 11 used to be used in combination with Farwerck’s publishing house Thule and ‘his’ periodical Nehalennia.

This is from the head of letter of Farwerck to a reader of Nehalennia. The letter is undated, but it appears to have been sent with the September 1959 issue. As you can see above, the address “Beethovenlaan 11” has been removed and replaced with Emmastraat 58. In 1959 Farwerck had Thule letterheads with Beethovenlaan 11 and late 1959 wanted to use his Emmastraat address again. Did he live at Emmastraat or did he temporarily use Borrius’ address as correspondence address and had to revert that for some reason?


Somewhere in or just after 1950 at least one Farwerck (“Mrs. Farwerck”) moved to Beethovenlaan 11 and in 1952 lived there with three other adults. Johanna cooperated in Franz’ publishing efforts. By 1959 Franz no longer used Beethovenlaan 11 as address, so for a yet unknown reason, Johanna was taken out of the equation. Somewhat remarkable, all Nehalennias from the start (April 1956) up until the March 1960 issue have Emmastraat 58 as editorial address. After this it became Lorentzkade 31, Leiden, probably the address of one of the other editors.
Did Farwerck have old letterheads for more than three years? Did he use two addresses between 1956 and 1959? What could this say about where he lived or with whom he cooperated?

There is something else to the story. Emmastraat 58 was bought by Farwerck senior in 1912 and appears to have been in the hands of the Farwerck family until 1967. Franz himself says he lived at Torenlaan 8 in 1921 which is possible, as his father still lived at the Emmasingel at the time. It is probably not (entirely) true though, since Torenlaan 8 was the house that Farwerck bought with his lodge. Could he have lived at Beethovenlaan 11 in 1952? Who lived at Emmastraat 58 at the time? His gardener and wife left after the war. Did he really move in with “Mrs. Farwerck”, did he just use her address? Was Johanna or Carl Wilhelm perhaps involved enough to act as correspondence address? The latter seems to be the most likely scenario.

I know that Franz’ brother and sister in law have lived with him at Emmastraat 58. It is very likely that Franz spent the last years of his life in Johanna’s house. It is not strange that the whole troupe have lived together somewhere else. It appears that by the time that the neighbouring school bought Villa Caecilia in 1967, widow Johanna Farwerck lived at Wernerlaan 41 and that Franz spent his last few years there too. Could the 1940 fire explain Farwerck’s temporary move to Beethovenlaan 11 (for more than a decade) or is Johanna’s involvement in his publishing pursuits a more likely explanation for the use of Beethovenlaan as correspondence address?

A few answers, but still many questions. There is the light suggestion that Franz lived at Beethovenlaan 11 from somewhere after 1950 until somewhere before 1959, but I think that conclusion won’t stand. It would be nice to find out when Johanna moved to Wernerlaan 41. In 1964, when her husband died, the obituary has as main contact address Emmastraat 58. Did Johanna (and Otto-Hans) move in with Franz and did Franz on his turn move in with Johanna in 1967 at Wernerlaan 41? Maybe the future will bring new information.


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