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Esperanto Triumfonta

A brilliant finding of a fellow Farwerck investigator. In the 29 January 1922 edition of the Esperanto newspaper Esperanto Triumfonta there is photo of the founders of the first German Le Droit Humain lodge “Goethe Zum Flammenden Stern” (‘Goethe to the blazing star’). This photo includes Farwerck! This is not only the second non-military photo of Farwerck that I know, but also predates the oldest photo that I know of him by eight years. So here we have Farwerck as a young(er) man, 33 years of age.

“Goethe Zum Flammenden Stern” was founded just before Farwerck received his 33rd degree and became the Dutch representative for the International Council of Le Droit Humain. The lodge -I also learn now- was not founded from the Dutch federation of Le Droit Humain, but rather by an international group of ‘Esperantists’. Incidentally, later the same year the French federation of Le Droit Humain founded an Esperanto committee of which the Grand Master was a member.

The text in the accompanying article says that from left to right you see: Riccardo Bassi, Franz Farwerk [sic], Karl Barthel, br. Klingenberger, Rob. Rübsamen, Otto Post, Karl Schwabenthal with his wife Marie Schwabenthal and a Frits Faulhaber is mentioned. Most names are connected to Esperanto league(s).

So the second man from the left, the one with the crossed legs, is Farwerck? The photo quality is low and Farwerck is much younger than I have seen him so far, so how are we going to proceed? Let’s have a look if we can identify any of the other people on the photo.

Riccardo Bassi is mentioned as being from Italy. Le Droit Human had been active in Italy since 1904 and has had a federation since 1916. It is very well possible that besides the Dutch federation, the Italian federation helped to found a lodge abroad. Unfortunately I can find no photos of Bassi.

Then we have Karl Barthel (1875-1960). He was a driving force behind the Esperanto movement. He was from Frankfurt, founded the Universal Freemason League and I did find a photo of him. I think it is safe to say that the third man from the left is indeed Barthel:

That makes is very likely that the man with the gaiters is Farwerck. The newspaper identifies him as such as the next identified man appears to be correct. Thus we have a photo of a 33 year old Farwerck!

More about Barthel here in Esperanto. Most of the other names are ‘Esperanto’ names, which made me wonder if the photo wasn’t actually taken during the Esperanto congress that was held in Frankfurt in 1921. Marie Schwabenthal is mentioned to be “now the first woman Freemason in Germany”, so the author certainly does think that we are looking of a group photo of the first members of a lodge.

In that case the name of Frits Faulhaber is interesting. Faulhaber (1893-1973) is famous for his work for Esperanto. He was also a member of the Dutch federation of Le Droit Humain and Farwerck had written in de Bulletin that the two of them were trying to make Esperanto better known in the lodges. The Esperanto Triumfonta text says that a brochure with information about “Internacia Ko-Framasonio” can be obtained from him and in German from Schwabental. Schwabental, by the way, who also published in the Dutch Bulletin in and about Esperanto.
This last quoted sentence also answers another question. I wondered if “Komuna Internacia Framasonio” wouldn’t refer to the international Masonic umbrella that was started by Esperantists, but the description “international co-Masonry” leaves no doubt, we are talking about Le Droit Humain.

Rather off-topic, but according to the last line, the Spanish federation of Le Droit Humain apparently founded a lodge in Alexandria, Egypt. That’s the first I heard about that.

So this little text from an unexpected source not only brought some interesting information about mixed gender Freemasonry, but more importantly, a photo of a younger Farwerck than I had seen him until now.

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