For many years I have been looking for information about Farwerck. The biography below if frequently updated. Many names and terms are linked to further information that doesn’t really fit in the biography. I have made a page with images to watch along with reading. I didn’t want to make the text below unreadable with a load of images, so click here and the images will open in a new tab and be in the order of the text below.
Franz Eduard Farwerck was born on March 4th 1889 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. His German father was Franz Otto Richard Heinrich Farwerck. Farwerck’s father was born on 24 or 25 February 1856 and his mother, Elise Dorothea Struve, on 1 May 1850. The grandfather of the father’s side was also called Franz. In 1872 Farwerck senior moved to Amsterdam and in 1888 Farwerck’s parents got married. A year later F.E. was born. There is a younger brother, born in 1892, listening to the name Carl Wilhelm (Willy). Franz remained unmarried. His brother married a woman named Johanna Boris, who appears more frequently under her Latinised name Borrius (also in her own time). We will run into Johanna again. Carl and Johanna had three sons (born 1922, 1925 and 1930). Obituaries of Franz’ parents, his brother, Johanna and himself can be found online. Some names of grandnephews are usually mentioned. Some live in France, some stayed closer to their family.
Franz went to the three year H.B.S. (‘Hogere Burger School’ or ‘Higher Civic School’, a school system that no longer exists). After this he had a economic education and afterwards seems to have studied in Germany, England and France, undoubtedly something economic because his businessman father seems that have been making him ready to follow in his footsteps.
The only other thing I have found about Farwerck’s youth is that he seems to have played soccer at the age of 16 in Amsterdam.
In January 1909 (age 20) Farwerck seems to have been called for testing for military service. He is listed as “clerk”, 1 meter 76 centimeter in length and the unreadable result appears to be positive. Two years later his brother got conscription. I have found no clues of Franz being active in the military during World War I.
The family moved to Hilversum in May 1914, buying a villa with a extra house for the personnel. In 1909 Franz moved to Rotterdam where he probably lived until 1916 when he also moved to Hilversum. The years in Rotterdam seems to have been to manage a brown coal factory that his father had with Otto Kemper, the man with whom senior stayed for a while when he migrated to the Netherlands. Willy Farwerck moved back to Amsterdam, but Franz en Willy often stayed with each other (winters in Amsterdam, summers in Hilversum). Mother Farwerck-Struve passed away (apparently after a sickbed) in 1920. Senior in 1930 after which Franz inherited the house and personnel.
I have to mention the family business too. Franz and his brother worked together on a number of levels and also sister in law Johanna seems to have joined her husband on different projects. “Work” will be the first subject to look at.
Farwerck was an extremely productive man and usually very fortunate. In 1909 he appears to have been directed towards a brown coal factory that his father owned with a business partner. Two years later he became director (age 22)! Another year later, Farwerck started his own carpet factory which in 1915 merged with another company, which again merged later. Franz, Carl and a certain “J. Farwerck” (Johanna?) are all listed as directors or committee members of carpet factories. Farwerck senior was decorated in 1930 at the 100th anniversary of one of the factories just before he passed away. This event made the papers I found a photo with people including Franz and his father and a better photo of his father, whom Franz looked like a lot. Carl and Johanna’s son Kees-Jan and a business partner seem to have taken over the business later on.
Farwerck is also mentioned being active in the glass industry, a pottery and in 1933 Franz would also join the counsel of a local bank in the small town where he lived (Hilversum).
He seems to have had social ideas. He told Meijer Polak (about whom later) after the war that he was part of so many committees because he hoped to improve the situation of workers. One way of doing that was by having workers ‘buy in’ obligations to the company where they worked and give them a influence in return. This influence did not exactly turn out that way, which was not good for Farwerck’s name. His driver (Willem Viereke) even told the same Polak that Farwerck was hated by his employers. Viereke himself did too apparently. He told Polak Farwerck perhaps paid his wages, but had him and his wife starve during the war. The fact that Viereke also had to leave the coach house for Willy Farwerck’s sons (Willy and Johanna moved into the main house) probably did not help.
That said, both in his professional life as in his membership of two organisations (see below) Farwerck said to work for the well-being of his fellow humans. He also had regard for animals it seems, because he appears on the 1894-1918 member list of the Vegetarian Union (19).
Hoogenboom (1) writes that Farwerck seems to have had an interest in ‘things spiritual’. Hilversum was a spiritualistic hotspot during his life. Farwerck had neighbours that were mediums and all sorts of seances and gatherings were held in his vicinity. That does not automatically mean that Farwerck visited them all, but a fact is that he wrote a text about Nostrodamus and he studied the Kabbalah. Farwerck was impressed enough to help found a foundation to spread the ideas of Emile Coué (1857-1926) in 1924 (his brother was another founding member as was Van Meerwijk whom we will run into again).
Coué was a French pharmacist who found out that his soothing words accompanying the medicines he provided, worked just as well as the medicines themselves (a placebo effect). He developed a system of auto-suggestion. I have not been able to find out how long this foundation lasted.
It becomes more and more clear that Theosophy was quite central to Farwerck’s spiritual development. People involved in the first Theosophical lodge in Amsterdam would become central to his life. It is likely that it was there where he met Henri van Ginkel who would initiate him into a mixed gender Masonic lodge at the age of 22. Farwerck also was active in Theosophy-related initiatives such as The Star in the East supporting the case of Krishnamurti, the vegetarian union and Universal Sufism.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927), the founder of ‘Universal Sufism’ found enough people to open four centres in the Netherlands in the early 1920’ies. In his autobiography he mentions people who were involved in this initiative. He mentions a “de Heer Farwerck”, not as an early member, but as someone who “took an active part in working” (2).
There is a website, Sufipedia.org, with information about the movement of Inayat Khan, especially in the Netherlands. The website lists many Dutchmen who were active in the early years. “Farwerck, Frans Eduard” is mentioned (with the photo that I ‘made’, probably taken from Wikipedia). “One of the first mureeds (since 1921) of Inayat Khan in the Netherlands. Also he was member of the first National Comity in the Netherlands, in the function of secretary.” (21) Then follows the Wikipedia bio. Assuming that the creator of the website, Paul Ketelaar, is a member and has access to the archives, this information is likely correct. If I’m correct “mureed” means that Farwerck was initiated into the Universal Sufism order. This happened after he became a Freemason (see below). Checking the other biographies and information on Sufipedia.org, a few familiar names appear. Van Tuyll van Serooskerken (I have yet to check why this names rings a bell), Kerdijk (Schlesinger’s wife, early member of Le Droit Humain), Nico Kluwer (1897-1975) who would publish Farwerck’s magnum opus posthumously, and the couple Van Meerwijk who shared other efforts of Farwerck.
I knew that Farwerck was one of the people to found a local Rotary Club in his home town in 1928. Hoogenboom puts the Rotary quite central in Farwerck’s life. It was the Rotary network that got him approached to join the N.S.B. (about which later) and where he may have learned (or tried) to better humanity and protect heritage. According to Hoogenboom it was Farwerck who advocated initiatives for retarded children. Perhaps this is about a society that Farwerck helped to found with the name “De vereeniging tot steun aan maatschappelijk onvolwaardigen”, a very old fashioned name that means something like ‘Society for the aid of socially deficient’. I have found a newspaper advertisement from 1932 to announce a lottery to raise money.
I have the idea that Hoogenboom overlooks the influence of Farwerck’s membership of Theosophy and Le Droit Humain, but as we will see, Farwerck wanted to help people and that is exactly what the Rotary Club was for. Farwerck describes this (as B.J. van der Zuylen) and some history of the Rotary in Bouwsteenen (see below).
René de Clerq (1877-1932) was a Belgian author. With De Clerq’s oldest daughter and one other person, Farwerck founded a De Clerq foundation in 1940 to preserve the author’s legacy.
Mention must be made of Esperanto, the artificial language that was created to become a universal language, but never did. Farwerck was involved in an international Esperanto network with which he even founded the first mixed gender lodge in Germany (see below).
Also it seems that Franz had something with horses, just as the rest of his family.
History, art, folklore and symbolism
Farwerck was extremely interested in the ways of the ancestors. To Polak he would say in 1947:
My interest for the human races originated when I was 16, when in a museum I saw the remains of a prehistoric man. Ever since I have read every possible scientific publication about this. Gradually I came to the conclusion that heritage played a large role in human nature and what comes from that. (3)
Perhaps another cause for this interest is that in 1917 that a fairly spectacular finding was made on the grounds of a fireplace-factory in his home town, the owner of which would years later be in the same Rotary Club as Farwerck.
When he travelled to Germany for his work after 1913, he seems to have used the occasions to visit as ancient sites, old churches, folklorist events, etc. He may have made photos, but photos that can be found in his books that are made by himself, are usually from the Netherlands.
In 1933 Farwerck was one of the people who started a local museum with the short name “‘t Goois Museum” (nowadays “Museum Hilversum”). Farwerck contributed an old weaving loom from his factory. The initiative for the museum partly came from his Rotary Club. At the 50th anniversary of the museum, a booklet was published. There is an interview with a long-time employee who says that Farwerck did not have much contact with the museum. He remembers him as a “fairly stiff, very aloof” man whose interests included archaeology.
An amusing fact, on March 17th 1933, a group of artists invited Farwerck to lecture about the history of het Gooi (the area where he lived) and he mentions that it is too bad that there is no museum! The suggestion within the Rotary Club may have come from Farwerck.
More about the museum and the people behind it here.
Farwerck did not lose his ‘folkloristic’ and historical interests later in his life. In 1950 and 1954 he still lectured. The first lecture is about prehistory, the second lecture was for an archaeological group about North-European mummies with “light-images. In 1953 he helps to start an archaeological group. At the age of 67 he started writing for a periodical called Nehalennia (after a Dutch Germano-Celtic sea Goddess), a historical and folkloristic publication which continued for six years. Some say it was Farwerck’s own magazine. It was indeed published by Thule, which was probably his own publishing house. More about the periodical and collaborators here. In 1960 he gave a lecture for a genealogical group and early and late March 1965 he gave another two lectures. The first about rock carvings in Sweden, the second about “The Spiritual World of our Ancestors”. At the time he was 76 years old.
As we will see, Farwerck was much opposed to what he called “Bolshevism”, liberalism, equality and globalisation. Before our own era, society was more ‘natural’ and Farwerck saw a decline in old ethics. He was not only intered in old cultures, he probably thought they were superior to our own time. He was not alone with these ideas and he was not alone in his expectation that events in Germany could bring back these old ethics. More about that later.
As we saw, at some point Farwerck picked up the subject of history, folklore and the Germanic past. I have not exactly pinpointed how that happened. As we saw in “Farwerck by his writings” Celts and Teutons are shortly mentioned in his first book from 1927. They are not mentioned at all in older texts. He must have encountered the subject somewhere, but I have not yet found the source. I do have some information about his ‘Teutonic activities’, so that will be the subject of this section.
In 2013 a book was published about Hendrik Joseph Bellen (1884–1961) (5) an early Dutch amateur archaeologist. Bellen performed some groundbreaking work, but there were also other sides to his work. One is that he had an interest in the theories of the likes of Rudolf Gorsleben (1883-1930), Guido von List (1848-1919) and Herman Wirth (1865-1981). Another that his techniques were not quite of the standards of our own time.
In 1931 the “Ario-Germaansche Genootschap” (‘Ario-Teutonic Society’) was founded. Among the founders we find Bellen, but also Farwerck and the poet August Heyting (more about whom below). There is supposedly a link to the Edda Gesellschaft of Gorsleben founded in 1925. It was supposed to be a scholarly group investigating “Ario-Teutonic culture”. After the war ‘fellow Theosophist’ Marcel van Velde (1898-1964) was interviewed and he mentions the Ario-Germaanse Genootschap:
In these days there also was “The Ario-Germanic Society” Farwerck took part of the activities of this Society, which occupied itself with the study of the Germanic and Celtic mythology, while for Farwerck center of gravity laid in his interest in symbology such as rune-symbols etc.
This society had not yet have anything to do with politics, it was purely scientific, but had mystical and masonic ideology on the background. (24)
Still Farwerck resigned only days after the foundation of the society (as did Heyting), so the quote above seems to be a bit exaggerated. Be that as it may, it does appear that Farwerck was familiar with “Ariosophic” circles.
The mentioned poet Heyting (1879-1949) wrote a lengthy poem called Yggdrasil (1936) and he founded a group to which he lectured and published about his investigations that formed the basis for his poem. The groups name is similar to the group mentioned above. Not exactly the same name is used all the time, but “Kelto-Germaanse Studiekring Yggdrasil” (‘Celto-Teutonic studycircle Yggdrasil’) is the most common. Three volumes with lengthy essays were published together with the poem, so the group must have been around for a while by that time (at least since 1933, see below). Perhaps Heyting and other members who left the Ario-Germaansche Genootschap” went on with the study circle.
Since both Farwerck and Heyting signed the founding document of the Ario-Germaansche Genootschap, because Farwerck’s Masonic lodge had an event with Heyting and his group in 1933 and Farwerck lectured for the study circle in 1940, the two must have known each other, probably quite well.
This is all fairly late, but the book about Bellen also gives another clue: Hermann Roeper Wirth (1885-1981). Farwerck sometimes mentions Wirth in his bibliographies. The first time in Levend Verleden (1937) and in most books that were published after. One time Farwerck lists Wirth’s Ura Linda Chronik, but mostly Die Heilige Urschrift Der Menscheit (‘The secret primal language of mankind’), while Wirth has written many more texts. The auction of Farwerck’s library (see below) contains one title of Wirth, Aufgang der Menscheit from 1928 (‘Rise of mankind’). Eickhoff with his fairly ‘anti-Farwerck’ information (16) says that Farwerck was much inspired by Wirth. This seems a bit of an overstatement.
Wirth’s life is in some ways similar to that of Farwerck. He had the means to study in his native country the Netherlands and abroad. He had steep rises and deep falls. He was born in Utrecht, not too far from where Farwerck lived, four years before Farwerck. Wirth spent most of his life in Germany, but his studies and lectures were usually about the Netherlands. Even his dissertation was about Dutch folk-song.
The Dutch Wikipedia (17) says: “In 1919 richtte Wirth in Nederland een Völkische Bewegung op.” (‘In 1919 Wirth started a “Folkish Movement” in the Netherlands’). The capitals suggest that this is the name of an organisation (both words are German by the way). In the same year he started working for the newspaper De Telegraaf (music correspondent) and supposedly lived in Baarn, not too far from where Farwerck lived at the time. There is a biography of Wirth (18) that says nothing of this. The author of that biography, Van Gilst, does mention that in 1920 Wirth founded a “Wandervögel” type youth group for students, so this was a nature-loving, anti-industrialism, romantic group with interest in folklore. Van Gilst also mentions Wirth lecturing in the Netherlands. This could be a time in which Farwerck and Wirth met, even though I have no proof that they ever did. It would be strange if they did not, seeing their similar interests.
Wirth also gave a lecture for the Fries Genootschap (‘Frisian Society’) in 1922 and the archaeologist Bellen also had contacts there. Could he and Farwerck have gone to listen?
In 1935 Wirth with help from Heinrich Himmler founded the Ahnenerbe. In 1937 he was removed. Farwerck is mentioned to have been in contact with the Ahnenerbe on behalf of the Der Vaderen Erfdeel group from the same year on. Not with Wirth of course, but there is another tiny Wirth / Farwerck connection there.
Farwerck seldom refers to non-scholarly books, but in spite of the fact that Wirth had mostly enemies in academic circles, Farwerck does seem to have thought that Wirth was a credible enough source. At least Farwerck knew people in more ‘speculative’ circles and the above suggests that his ‘German interests’ could have sprouted from such ‘speculative’ circles.
A last and good candidate for Farwerck’s inspiration is Egbert Smedes (1889-1975). Smedes was a teacher, clerk, Freemason (of another organisation) and from 1938 he started to publish about the Germanic origins of Masonic symbolism. Farwerck knew these writings (they appear in his bibliographies). The time-frame fits perfectly.
Smedes and Farwerck moved in the same circles. Texts of Smedes were published by Kluwer (who was also member of the Sufi order that Farwerck joined) in a periodical that other people that Farwerck knew published in. Also they were both published in a small, archaeological periodical years later. They also shared a more ‘folkish’ periodical. They likely knew each other.
Farwerck has been a member (or: an active member) of the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging (‘National-Socialist Movement’, from here on N.S.B.) from 1932 until at least 1943 (in 1940 he ended his active membership though). This is the period of his life he is best known for and which is best documented. This documentation gives, in a way, the best insight into the mind of the man.
In 1931 the N.S.B. was founded by Anton Mussert (1894-1946) and Cornelis van Geelkerken (1901-1976). The N.S.B. had one leader: Mussert. The organisation even became some sort of Mussert cult.
It seems that the founder of the N.S.B. (Mussert), a Rotary Club member, approached another Rotary Club member to ask Farwerck (also member) to contact Mussert. Mussert was looking for a new head of “Division 3” (Propaganda). Mussert and Farwerck soon became friends, but did not know that they had been watched by a variety of people from the start. Farwerck ‘invested’ a whopping ƒ 100.000,- (well over $ 50.000,-!) in Mussert’s organisation. That may have helped the friendship.
According to De SS en Nederland (‘SS and the Netherlands’) (6) Farwerck was active in the N.S.B. from 1932. This is interesting for several reasons. A year prior he left the Ario-Germaansche Genootschap possibly because of its politics, so how comes that he joins an obviously political party now? Also it explains hardships in the end of his ‘Masonic career’ (about which later). Farwerck did have something to say about this after the war:
I became member, based on social views that I have tried to put into practice on a small scale in the glass-factory in Leerdam […]. I hoped these to put into practice on a larger scale within the N.S.B. The leadershipprinciple of the N.S.B. was no objection for me, since I didn’t see dictatorial arbitrariness, but just a managerial principle. (25)
It could be because he encountered people with similar “folkish” ideas as his own that Farwerck joined the N.S.B. De SS en Nederland (6) says that Evert Jan Roskam (1892-1974) may have been the first “folkish” thinker in the N.S.B. “Farwerck was undoubtedly the instigator and activator” of this line of thinking. He gathered a group of “folkish” people, often called ‘the Farwerck group’ by later authors. This group was not really interested in the political side of the N.S.B. and was frowned upon by the majority of the movement. They were influential though, not in the last place because Farwerck and Mussert were on very good terms.
Farwerck remained on the background. “His surroundings found him unfathomable, a puzzling sphinx. The appearance of the somewhat secretive man with his Mephistopheles-like beard supported this” (6).
Farwerck and his group were critical towards the direction of the N.S.B. In spite of their friendship, also Mussert and Farwerck had different ideas here. Mussert was “an alpha-man”, while Farwerck had “mystical speculations” (26). Also within the group Farwerck proved not only to have friends. Later these differences would become a problem.
Already in 1934, people critical towards the direction of the N.S.B. for other reasons that the group around Farwerck (they were even more radical than the official N.S.B. line), published a newspaper advertisement naming Farwerck as a Freemason. In 1935 a more serious publication was put out (“Zwart Front” or ‘Black Front’) exposing Farwerck as a Freemason. The authors had received a Masonic publication listing Farwerck’s Masonic function. In the same year another advertisement was used to ask some questions to Mussert, a few of those were about Farwerck.
In 1937 an Ahnenerbe-like organisation called “Der Vaderen Erfdeel” (which translates to something like ‘the fathers’ inheritance’ which could very well be a reference to “Ahnenerbe” or ‘heritage of the ancestors’) was founded. This was lead by Jan Nachenius (1890-1987), but in practice was headed by Farwerck. This was actually a ‘demotion’ from his position of head of Propaganda after Farwerck insulted Mussert with a thoughtless action, but it possibly lived up very well to Farwerck’s aspirations.
Farwerck himself says the following about this situation:
My influence on the leaderhip of the N.S.B. had sorely declined over the years. From 1934-1937 I had the trust of Ir. Mussert, but gradually it became clear that our opinions differed on several points. Therefor my influence went down more and more and Ir. Mussert came in closer contact with others. It was mostly the rising influence of Rost van Tonningen, and his following, whom was very strongly German-oriented and with whom I have been on the brink of war for many years, which diminished my influence strongly. Therefor I had already asked to be relieved from my function and waiting for the reply I only dealt with current affairs. (27)
There was a publication called “Wolfsangel” (‘wolf angle’ / ‘wolf trap’) which would later (1938) be called “Der Vaderen Erfdeel” and again later (1939 when Farwerck had been removed) “Volksche Wacht” (‘folkish guard’). Der Vaderen Erfdeel also published books, two by Farwerck. The new organisation was called “Volksche Werkgemeenschap” (‘folkish work community’) (and again later “Germaansche Werkgemeenschap” (‘Teutonic work community’)) and the publishing branch was renamed to “Hamer” (‘hammer’). Most publications were strictly political by the time Farwerck no longer formed part of it.
Within the N.S.B. there were a lot of councils, political, Catholic, Protestant, education, etc. Farwerck tried to keep the very different groups within the N.S.B. busy and separated. He also made such a group for himself, a “council for folk culture” which was not political.
As we saw, Farwerck had problems with rapidly rising star within the N.S.B., Meinoud Rost van Tonningen (1894-1945). Rost was more radical, more Germany-centered and wanted to direct the N.S.B. into a much more radical course. Farwerck opposed Rost van Tonningen’s ‘Germanism’ and anti-Semitism and called him “the biggest enemy of our people”. Farwerck was on good foot with the leader, but pressure from Germany led Mussert into a difficult position.
In a way Rost was only a catalyst. The brothers Farwerck were nationalists and not in favor of Germany’s expansion plans. In a declaration Farwerck even writes: “we abhorred the attack on the Netherlands”. Before the invasion the Germans had looked into Farwerck and concluded that he was a problem. They immediately told Mussert as much and Mussert told Farwerck.
In Germany Masonic lodges had long been forbidden (we will come back to that) and Germany wanted the Netherlands to follow in these politics. This was a perfect situation for Rost van Tonningen to solve the Farwerck problem. Farwerck whom had long been accused of being a Mason, but Mussert never wanted to look into that.
When Mussert was to meet Hitler in Berlin, Rost van Tonningen used information that he got from Rost Dahmen von Buchholz (the father of his secretary) about Farwerck’s membership of Freemasonry and saw to it that this information reached Germany before Mussert did. Mussert had no choice but to call a search of Farwerck’s house where a Masonic letter was found. The perfect argument to let go of Farwerck. This was late in the year 1940.
Farwerck himself said that he only ended his active membership. In 1943 he still visited N.S.B. circles at least. In uniform even.
Farwerck and Mussert had their differences, but even after the war, Mussert tried to protect Farwerck.
Farwerck’s N.S.B. membership also brought him troubles with his neighbours especially when big plates with N.S.B. advertisements appeared in his yard. He told Polak that this was not his own idea, but they sure made bad blood. In spite of that, he kept living in the same house, also when he was forced out of the N.S.B. and also after the war.
After the war, Farwerck was investigated to see if he needed to be persecuted. He was thoroughly investigated by Meijer Polak who not only interviewed Farwerck himself, but also neighbours, N.S.B. members and even Germans. It never came to persecution. According to a neighbour (to Polak) because of his health (which was not so bad that he could not work in the garden). The same neighbour said that years after the war Farwerck started to be visited by ex-N.S.B. people after their detentions!
In 1948 it was decided to not persecute Farwerck. Apparently he had to cover the costs for the investigation himself, ƒ 2.500,- ($ 1.200,-)!
Using the pseudonym F. van Schoping (a reference to the birthplace of his father, Schöppingen?), Farwerck published his more political writings. I have found only two of these, just one of them to read. In this Het Volksche Element in het Nationaal-Socialisme (‘the folkish element in National-Socialism’ 1937) Farwerck displays his ideas on “Bolshevism”, globalization, the loss of traditional roles in society (like that of the woman), liberalism, etc. He does speak of “race”, “purity of race” and the like, but apparently not strongly enough for some people.
Strangely enough the second political work was only published in 1941 when Farwerck had already left the N.S.B. I have not been able to find much information about the publisher “Volk en Bodem” (‘folk and soil’). The publisher seems to have been established around that time.
Shortly I want to say something about ‘the question of the Jews’. Hoogenboom suggests that both Mussert and Farwerck were not anti-Semitic in the beginning, but did start to adopt some such ideas later on. The early N.S.B. had Jews as members and one of them supposedly asked Farwerck for help when he sensed the rise of Antisemitism. Farwerck wrote to Mussert that many N.S.B.-members did not act according the information of “Brochure IV”. This brochure speaks about three kinds of Jews. Dutchmen who happen to be Jews, strict orthodox Jews and Jews who are against National Socialism. The first two kinds were not a problem and they could be members of the N.S.B. The last group was a problem, since they would not fit in the state that the N.S.B. had in mind. As a side note, the next chapter says that National Socialist Freemasons were not a problem either. I would not be surprised if this brochure was from the pen of the head of propaganda, Farwerck.
Te Slaa and Klijn wrote a massive book about the early days of the N.S.B. (22). They write that both Mussert and Farwerck were liberal about Jews for a long time, but both more radical new members and actions from within the Jewish community (such as attacking N.S.B. members (Farwerck is also seen coming home with a black eye once)) brought that they saw a growing problem in a growing part of the Jewish community.
It is also known that Farwerck and some of his colleagues were annoyed by the tone of some texts in newspapers such as Volk en Vaderland (‘folk and fatherland’). Furthermore it is clear that some publications became much more radical after Farwerck was forced out of the N.S.B.
On the other hand, the wife of a Jewish Masonic colleague asked for Farwerck’s expulsion from the order just before he left himself. More about that below.
My guess is that he had ideas that did not fall too well with ‘the common folk’, but which were not ‘strong’ enough for his political colleagues. A German letter from the time of the search of his house, uses Farwerck’s Masonic membership to connect him to Jewish bankers, Moscow and “the second internationale” (a socialist workers party).
Te Slaa and Klijn say that in fits of indignation Farwerck let a few pretty drastic thoughts flow out of his pen. Were they his real ideas or did he sometimes loose his temper?
A funny side note makes an advertisement for a performance with Rost van Tonningen doing acrobatics on a wire and Farwerck did the choreography. Speaking of fun and pun, I also found a Farwerck cartoon.
I will come back to the subject above, but first I am going to continue with the next subject. The book of Te Slaa and Klijn is detailed enough to enlarge this section of this part of Farwerck’s life, but since this is overexposed in most information about Farwerck anyway, I prefer to not make this part too large.
Now comes the -to me- most interesting part of the story, but we have to jump back in time. As we saw, Farwerck was a Freemason. More correct it is to say that he has been one.
Farwerck joined the N.S.B. in 1932. I have a copy of the letter in which his lodge notifies the secretary of Le Droit Humain (Willy Farwerck!) about Farwerck’s dismissal. It is dated 12 April 1934. In his interviews he says “around 1935”, but he also says that the joined “around 1920” which is nine years off!
There is something weird to this story. Farwerck did not just join the biggest Dutch Masonic order, the “regular” and men-only Grand Orient of the Netherlands which had (and has) many more lodges than the order that Farwerck joined. How did that come about? How much more libertarian and egalitarian than mixed gender Freemasonry do you want to get it? Did Farwerck develop the ideas exposed in his political writing during his time in mixed gender Freemasonry or did he have them before and somehow managed to balance between these two extremes?
To Polak he said:
In the Netherlands Masonry keeps away from all political interference and mainly occupies itself with spiritual matters. The idea that one has to work for the fellow man, which lives in Freemasonry, I hoped to be able to practice in the N.S.B. (7)
Farwerck wanted to improve the lives of his workers and he joined Freemasonry, the Rotary and even the N.S.B. to help his fellow man! Idealism or naivety?
Back to Freemasonry. Let me start with a little history of mixed gender Freemasonry.
The mixed Masonic order Le Droit Humain appeared in France in 1893 and in 1904 the first Dutch(wo)men were initiated. The first lodge (Cazotte) followed in 1905. In the year that Farwerck got his first appointment as director (1911) a lodge was founded Laren, “Christiaan Rosenkreutz”. This was the same year that Farwerck was initiated (1911 and not, as I previously stated following the Dutch Wikipedia, 1918).
As we saw, Farwerck lived in Rotterdam at the time (1909-1916). Why didn’t he join the mixed gender lodge Cazotte in The Hague? Did he know he would eventually move to Hilversum (his father only bought the estate in 1912, so this is unlikely) or was his contact with the founder of the lodge, Henri van Ginkel, the reason? I assume the latter. Farwerck possibly knew Van Ginkel (and other early Dutch co-Masons) from the first Theosophical lodge in Amsterdam.
Farwerck joined Christiaan Rosencreutz, the first mixed gender Dutch lodge with a non-Theosophical ritual. Van Ginkel and Farwerck were both Theosophists who were of the opinion that Theosophy and Freemasonry should not mix. There is a funny anecdote about his membership. Farwerck’s autograph appears below the (undated) request for a charter in the function of Warden. The charter was dated 1 January 1911, while Farwerck had only been initiated in April of that year. It appears he was initiated, passed and raised in a “triangle” (lodge in the making) and after that, help to found the lodge. That he also financially supported this new effort is shown by the fact that after the war he complains that the building that he bought for his lodge (and which was registered to his name) was confiscated by the Germans without compensation.
Both Farwerck’s brother Willy and his wife Johanna were also members of Le Droit Humain. Both joined years after Franz. His brother was initiated in 1917 (Franz was Worshipful Master in that year, did he initiate his brother?) and Johanna in 1921. Willy reached the 32º, it seems that Johanna stuck to the so-called “blue degrees” (the first three).
Johanna Farwerck-Borrius is mentioned in the dissertation The politics of Divine Wisdom of Herman de Tollenaere (1996) (8), a text about the influence of women in the Theosophical Society. Franz Farwerck happens to be mentioned in the book too!
Theosophist Selleger was the Dutch Paper Manufacturers Association’s chairman. TS [Theosophical Society] leader Cochius was presiding director of the Leerdam glass-works. Another director of that firm, the Hilversum industrialist F.E. Farwerck figured prominently in the Dutch TS and co-masonry. Military, clergy, and judiciary Officers and their wives and children were strongly represented in Theosophical Society membership.
This appears to be correct. Farwerck headed the Hilversum Theosophical lodge in 1918. He had probably been active before he joined his Masonic lodge. As we saw, Farwerck was perhaps a Theosophist, he was not uncritical. There is close to no Theosophy in his writings. During his time as head of the Dutch Le Droit Humain he even took quite a firm stance against Theosophical elements in some rituals. It may even not be a coincidence that Farwerck only joined Le Droit Humain when the first lodge with a non-Theosophical lodge was founded.
Theosophical bookshop owner Marcel van Velde says that he and Farwerck were Theosophists. His bookshop sold Masonic publications, also those of Farwerck. This may explain how many, even the most obscure, publications of Farwerck can be found in the Dutch Theosophical library in Amsterdam. Also, the catalogue of the auction of his library (see blow) contains both Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine (1911 and 1919 editions).
Willy (Carl Wilhelm) Farwerck does refer to Blavatsky in the only writing of his that I found, his long essay in the Bouwsteenen periodical (again, see below). This text also shows him to be fairly well-read in similar subjects as his brother. The text is well-written too. Willy also was ‘spiritually inclined’. The Royal Library in The Hague (Netherlands) has a few letters Willy exchanged with “parapsychologist” Georges Zorab. As we saw before, Hoogendoorn also said that Franz had an interest in ‘things spiritual’.
More about Willy Farwerck here.
There are other things to shortly look at. The man Cochius that is mentioned in the quote from The Politics Of Divine Wisdom, was one of the persons who started the Rotary Club in Hilversum together with Farwerck and he also lead the Arnhem Theosophical lodge from 1905 to 1923. Farwerck need not have known Cochius before he joined Le Droit Humain of course, but perhaps he did know him before through Theosophy.
A little bit more about mixed gender Freemasonry.
The first mixed gender lodge in the Netherlands (Cazotte) consisted of seven Theosophists. One of them was H.J. van Ginkel who was initiated by Annie Besant herself. Even though he was a Theosophist, Van Ginkel thought that Theosophy should not be brought into the lodge. Therefore he started the first mixed gender lodge (Christiaan Rosenkreutz) that was to adopt a non-Theosophical ritual written by himself in 1915. Van Ginkel edited the ritual of Annie Besant for that project. Later on the Supreme Council of Le Droit Humain in Paris (the international headquarters) also decided to diminish the Theosophical influence and opposed other rituals on their lodges. This caused the first schism within the order. In the Netherlands three lodges split off, including Cazotte, making Christiaan Rosenkreutz the oldest Le Droit Humain lodge today. Ironically, by the time Farwerck led the organisation, Le Droit Humain again had multiple rituals. Farwerck not only tried to prevent Theosophical rituals to return (unsuccessfully), but he was also critical towards the original Besant ritual and Van Ginkel’s modifications.
Van Ginkel and fellow Theosophist J.F. Duwaer (with whom he cooperated in several projects) started a publishing company (they has several) which was to become the house publisher of Le Droit Humain Netherlands. The name varies a bit, but it was called “N.V. Maçonnieke Uitgevers Maatschappij” (‘Masonic publishing company’). This publisher was to print several works of Farwerck, mostly under pseudonym, the obviously Masonic “B.J. van der Zuylen” (‘B.J. of the Pillars’) and “F.E.F.”, the pen names that Farwerck also used in the official Bulletin and the periodical Bouwsteenen (‘building blocks’). The same company published the little book of Farwerck’s sister in law and the article of Willy Farwerck.
Again Farwerck’s star rose quickly. 6,5 Years after his initiation he had reached the 30º. In 1922 he got the 33º and soon became Grand Commander, head of the ‘high degrees’, which in the system of Le Droit Humain means: head of the Federation. In 1924 he was also member of the Supreme Council. Willy Farwerck was active within the ‘high degrees’ too, his wife seems to have not been.
During his years within Le Droit Humain Farwerck was an active man. He held lectures in his own and other lodges, he was a member of several lodges, a couple of them he seems to have co-founded: Ken Uzelven (‘know yourself’) (Utrecht, 1919), Broedertrouw (‘brother’s loyalty’) (Amersfoort, 1921), Goethe Zum Flammenden Stern (‘Goethe to the flaming star’) (1921, Frankfurt Am Main, Germany, where a photo was taken) and Hiram Abif (Amsterdam, 1925). Carl Wilhelm and Johanna have also both been initiated in Christiaan Rosenkreutz and have also been members of Hiram Abif. Of the mentioned lodges in the Netherlands none lived long. Only Ken Uzelven would later relive and still exists today.
In 1927 Farwerck published his first book by the earlier mentioned publishing house. It was called Mysteriën en Inwijdingen in de Oudheid. (‘Mysteries and Initiations In Antiquity’). According to the Ritman Library (4), the cover was designed by Stefan Schlesinger (1896-1944), an Austrian Jew who came to live in the Netherlands. Schlesinger would also design Farwerck’s Masonic ex-libris. Schlesinger was married to Anna (Be) Kerdijk (1882-1944) whom we have met in the ‘Theosophical commune where Farwerck may have got to know Henri van Ginkel and Willem Denier van der Gon. Both Schlesinger and Kerdijk were members of Le Droit Humain. Schlesinger seems to have been initiated, passed and raised in order to help start the lodge Vertrauen in Wien/Vienna in 1922. Kerdijk was already member when the Dutch federation was started. Later both were members of the lodge Georges Martin III. Schlesinger and Kerdijk appear to have been involved in the founding of the short-lived lodge Ars Regia (1927-1934) of which Schlesinger was Worshipful Master and Kerdijk Orator in 1927.
Later on I will extensively quote the book Broeders en Zusters: Honderd jaar Gemengde Vrijmetselarij (9), but for now it suffices to say that the author of this book shortly mentions Kerkdijk, saying: “Sister A. Kerdijk, who was married to an Austrian jew, already in 1932 asked for the dismissal of Brother Farwerck. She was not Jewish herself, but wore the Star of David out of solidarity, when her husband was obliged to wear it. Both died in a German concentration camp.” (11)
Farwerck did not immediately leave the lodge when he got active within the N.S.B.!
Farwerck published under different names. During his Masonic years he an active writer. I have found nine titles between around 1927 and around 1933, see the bibliography.
I found a somewhat odd announcement of a “Teutonic Midwinter-Solstice festivity” organised by Christiaan Rosenkreutz and two other lodges and the “Kelto-Germaanschen Studiekring “Uggdrasil”” (‘Celto-Teutonic study circle “Uggrasil”’) of August Heyting who was mentioned above in Hilversum on May 4 1933. Did Farwerck try to push the lodge in a ‘heathen direction’? It was ‘but’ a reading though. See advertisement.
And then the war came…
When things started to run in an unwanted direction in Germany, Farwerck was Grand Commander of the Dutch federation of Le Droit Humain. Le Droit Humain in Germany was too small to have its own federation, so the few German lodges fell under the Dutch federation. In 1933 all German lodges (not just those of Le Droit Humain) were forced to close, the regime forbade Masonic practice. The material of the German lodges of Le Droit Humain was sent to the Netherlands to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Anxious about these events, in May 1933, the Worshipful Master of a Dutch lodge asked the Grand Commander to shed some light on the situation and the possible consequences for the Netherlands. Farwerck proved himself to be very naive! He wrote a lengthy article in the Bulletin of Le Droit Humain Netherlands. (The following quotes are from the book of Ank Engel (10), the untranslated texts can be found in the notes).
The new spirit spreading over Europe, has a negative and a positive side. Without the least of a judgement, we can conclude that the currents, which appear to us under the name of Fascism or National Socialism, are directed against the Marxist concept of class struggle and internationalisation of the proletariat against the liberal conception of freedom and a national collaboration of all classes of society with a subordination of individual freedom to the interests of the whole nation. (12)
From the same article:
A National Socialist Movement may be successful in countries such as Italy or Germany, but we see things in the Netherlands more soberly, we do not overheat so quickly. Moreover, we do not like ‘import’ and are the Netherlands not the classic country of “freedom”? Why worry about something that surely will not happen? (13)
With Farwerck as the highest authority in the organisation, it is likely that the national council agreed with his reply. The editors of the Bulletin did not and they replied critically. In reply to this, Farwerck even managed to write:
Also in the fascist state people have the freedom to develop as they want, think what they want, act as they like, provided that the act (and the act alone) is not contrary to the public interest. In other words, ones freedom should not come before the individual interests at the expense of others. Also this concept of freedom is in accordance with with the Masonic ‘concept of service’. On this ground there is therefore no reason for a hostile attitude against Freemasonry. (14)
In Russia, the lodges are not allowed to exist. In Germany they have dismantled themselves, but some Masonic journals still appear, apparently without hindrance. (15)
Needless to say that Farwerck was to be proven very wrong. Also in the Netherlands lodges were ransacked, buildings confiscated and torn apart or housed with German soldiers. Like we saw, Farwerck left the lodge in 1934, but some people think he used his position in the N.S.B. to help spare lodges of Le Droit Humain. Compared to the Grand Orient of the Netherlands (whose Grand Master of the time died in a camp!), lodges of Le Droit Humain were relatively untouched.
Farwerck’s naivity also appears to have played a part in the end of his Masonic career. As mentioned, Farwerck was the head of the Dutch federation and thus representative in Paris since 1922 (in 1932 he even was one of the vice-presidents of the Supreme Council). He is lauded for having provided funds to obtain a building and for the publishing company, but the Supreme Council found that he didn’t handle the situation in Germany too well and forced out both of his functions. (28)
As we saw above, soon after Farwerck joined the N.S.B., people started to complain about his continuing membership of Freemasonry. Under Mussert this wasn’t a problem, but the Germans did have a problem with Farwerck. After they invaded the Netherlands, the N.S.B. was forced to comply to the German stand on Freemasonry, which spelled the beginning of the end for Farwerck. What also didn’t help was that Farwerck remained on friendly terms with many of his former brothers and sisters.
I earlier mentioned a letter that was the direct cause of Farwerck’s dismissal from the N.S.B. This “friendly letter of the National Council of Freemasonry” (Engel) proved that Farwerck still had contact. Engel also quotes the goodbye speech of Farwerck’s follow-up who says that in september 1933 Farwerck laid down his function as Grand Commander, but he remained vice-chairman of the Supreme Council. It is not clear for how long he did so, but his lodge announced his resignation on April 12th 1934. Farwerck himself told Polak that he remained a member until “about 1935”. The letter of Franz’ resignation is addressed to Willy Farwerck who was Grand Secretary at the time by the way! The discharge was honorable.
There is something else. Brother Carl (or Willy) is a lot less in the limelight so there is a lot less information about him, but he does seem to have been a member of the N.S.B. as well (as well as his wife and the eldest two sons (20)). Also, when the German forces came to power, he was of the opinion that Freemasonry did not fit in the new regime. He proposed dismantlement of the Dutch federation of Le Droit Humain (of which he was still a member), but when the National Council declined his proposition, he left for that very reason in 1940 together with brother and sister Van Meerwijk, so he had a ‘double membership’ for seven years. Five other members of the lodge Hiram Abiff soon followed. The name of Willy’s wife, Johanna, is not under either request for dismissal. It is not like they divorced or anything. Carl passed away in 1964, Johanna in 1992. In her obituary she was named the widow of C.W. Farwerck. Did Johanna make another decision as her husband or did she send an individual letter of resignation?
Another thing in this regard. It is rumored that Farwerck didn’t actually leave the lodge. Willy’s cleaning lady was interviewed after the war. She describes how Willy had biweekly meetings of his lodge at his house in Amsterdam. When the meetings were outdoors, Franz (who stayed with his brother a lot) stayed home to look over the children. Apparently he did end his active involvement at some point.
In April 1968 Franz (79 years old) saw something on television that reminded him of his years as a Freemason. He wrote to Le Droit Humain, basically to ask if he could come back. The answer was negative. He tried again in June, July and August of the same year, with the same result. This did not prevent the Grand Commander of the time to write a positive review of Farwerck’s post-mortem published book. Apparently it was Farwerck’s spoiled past (or his person, maybe people who knew him were still member) that was the reason to decline the request.
What is also remarkable is that in the 1940’ies, so years after Farwerck left, the Masonic publishing company republished an earlier article in the form of a booklet (Symboliek see bibliography).
Odd or not, but it was after the end of both his Masonic and political careers, that Farwerck avidly started to publish. The ‘first version’ of his life’s work was published in 1953 on his own publishing house Thule (even though one review says that people who are interested could get the book from the publisher, using the feminine version of the word. I did manage to figure out who that was). Noord-Europese Mysteriën en Inwijdingen in de Oudheid (‘Northern-European Mysteries and Initiations in antiquity’). He even kept his old Masonic pseudonym. In the same year he (also on Thule) published another book and two years later yet another, one with a thin Masonic connection, the other purely about pre-Christian Masonic symbolism and aimed at Freemasons. Another book about initiation saw the light of day in 1960 and, as mentioned, his magnum opus Noordeuropese mysteriën en hun sporen tot heden (‘Northern European mysteries and their traces to the present’) was published just after he died (1970). According to the publisher he was still able to approve of the test-prints. Mission accomplished! The book was first published by Kluwer, later a son from the Kluwer family founded the publishing house Ankh-Hermes and he reprinted the book slightly expanded (an index was added), with a slightly different cover and on ticker paper in 1978.
As we saw, Farwerck was involved in the founding of a museum in his hometown. He was quite the collector himself too. In January 1940 his villa catches fire (rumours say a molotov cocktail was the cause). A newspaper article mentions that “the family F. Farwerck” was not at home at the time, but that that extremely cold night “very many pieces of art, including precious paintings” were lost. According to the Ritman Library (4) Farwerck was also “a collector of occult books”. It is unclear whether his library suffered from the fire.
In his post-war interviews Farwerck says that he was frequently harassed by the “Gestapo” (the secret police of the occupying forces). During one of these raids “a library of +/- 1200 valuable, mostly antiquarian masonic books, theosophical etc. literature and critics to the German regime” (23) were taken. There’s even a police report (which uses the address of the coach house), which mentions that 800 out of 1200 books were taken, but is also only from late 1945. Were these his brothers books or did his library not suffer as much from the fire as I initially thought? I can hardly imagine that within a few years he had a new collection of 1200 valuable books.
In 1967 Farwerck sold the villa to the neighbouring school and he seems to have moved to the place where the widow of his brother and one of their sons lived. Johanna and Otto Hans earlier resided in Farwerck’s place. I have yet to find out when they moved to Wernerlaan 41. Could this have been in anticipation of the sale of the villa? I’m not 100% that Farwerck spent the last years of his life at that address, but the address is in the obituary and “Mrs. Farwerck” living at Wernerlaan 41 offered books of Farwerck to an auction in 1971. Even if Farwerck did not stay there, Johanna did take care of handling things after Farwerck’s passing.
During the mentioned auction books of 55 people were sold making a total of 1054 books, 187 seem to have come from Farwerck’s library. That is not much. The auction house only accepted goods of which they were pretty sure they would raise money so it is unclear if this was the entire remainder of Farwerck’s library. None of the books with Farwerck’s ex-libris that I posses can be found in the catalogue. This suggests that books of his have been sold earlier and/or through other ways than the auction.
“Show me your books and I will tell you who you are”. Which books did Farwerck posses?
Of course the auction list contains some Freemasonry, but not much. There is quite some ‘Germanism’ in the list with classics such as Jan de Vries’ Altgemanische Religionsgeschichte (1956/7 printing), Walter Gehl’s Germanische Schicksalsglaube, the Deutsche Mythologie and Deutsche Rechtsaltertümer of the Grimm brothers, 13 volumes of the Sammlung Thule, Simrock, Schneider, but also authors I am not familiar with such as Jankuhn. There are a few more controversial authors such as Hermann Wirth (one title) and Wilhelm Teudt (one title).
Noticeable are books about subjects that he wrote about early in his writing career, so well before the fire. Cabala, history of writing, numbers and initiation. History, folklore and mythology from all over the world (with a liking for Egypt), Rosicrucians, alchemy, art, linguistics, maps and a wee bit of politics and race. He had a few books of Arthur Waite and Eliphas Levi. Also periodicals that he (later) published in himself and a few books which show interest in his fields of work, such as textile.
Compared to my earlier assumption that the entire catalogue was filled with books of Farwerck, I have to say that the ‘German’ section is much larger than I initially thought. Also there are much less really expensive or old books, even thought 8 books were sold for ƒ 200,- ($ 100.00) or more, up to ƒ 550,-.
Indeed, Farwerck had varied interests. The fact that books ended up in the auction with subjects he wrote about in his early writign days, suggests that at least some books have survived both the fire in 1940 and the Gestapo in 1945. Or he bought them again of course. That would mean that the interest remained.
In some of the Masonic correspondence that I have seen, mention is made of Farwerck’s health problems. The same subject is mentioned in his post-war investigation. His health would even have been a reason to not persecute him. One mention of this problem was before his 30th birthday. This suggests that this may have been a life long struggle. A doctor who seems to have overlooked the post-war hearings mentions that the hearings should stop because of “serious heart problems”, another interviewee mentions diabetes. Whatever it was, Farwerck lived to be 80 years old with it.
Nothing much can I find about Farwerck’s possible faith. Living in the Netherlands where he did, some form of Protestantism would be logical. He father had converted to Protestantism and his brother married in a Protestant church. In his first book Farwerck mentions “the beautiful symbolism of the Catholic church” and he was member of a Catholic employers’ association, but other than that, I have but one clue. In the post-war hearings one interviewee said: “To my knowledge Farwerck did not adhere the Christian faith”. He was member of a Catholic employers association.
I guess he wanted to keep these things to himself. He praises “heathenry”, but I would be surprised if that was more than an interest. Yet there was the Midwinter celebration lecture of his former lodge. In 2003 a thesis was published by M. Eickhoff (16). He describes Farwerck as a radical, anti-Semite and he describes how the Der Vaderen Erfdeel group visited an Ahnenerbe harvest celebration and German sites such as the Hermannsdenkmal and the Externsteine and says: “The visit of the Externsteine will certainly have been an intense religious experience for the members of Der Vaderen Erfdeel”, thus suggesting that the group had more than academic interests. Also he says that Farwerck used the term “Neuheidnische Richting” to describe his folkish ideas for the N.S.B. I find Eckhoff to be very suggestive though, so I don’t know how heavy we should weigh his information.
He was a Theosophist (at least for a while), but wanted to keep Theosophy out of Freemasonry. He was a Sufi (at least for a while), but nothing of this seems to have shown through later in his life. Perhaps Freemasonry was (or used to be?) perfect for Farwerck. Spirituality without faith or dogma.
On May 22 1968 Franz passed away. About a year earlier he had sold his villa to the next door school. He seems to have moved in with a son of Willy Farwerck and Johanna. Farwerck left behind this widow of his brother and her sons and partners in France and Hilversum.
You may wonder how Farwerck’s many works were received during his life and after he passed away. I have found several advertisements drawing attention to his works. Especially the prices are highly amusing (I have listed them in the bibliography when available). There were also newspaper articles such as reviews of Levend Verleden in Utrechts Nieuwsblad October 10 1938. Also Masonic periodicals sometimes had attention for his works, such as the De Vrijmetselaar (‘The Freemason’) in 1953 (Noord-Europese Mysteriën en Inwijdingen in de Oudheid) and 1956 (Noord-Europa een der Bronnen van de Maçonnieke Symboliek). The remarks are always that Farwerck’s approach is “(very) interesting”. Also his last book got some positive reviews (in fact, I have not seen any negative reviews, except reviews speaking of Farwerck’s political past).
As we saw, when Farwerck’s libary was auctioned six years after his death, 20 copies of a 1953 and 30 copies of a 1960 book were still in his possession. Were they published in big editions or were they not too popular?
And here ends my story about Franz Farwerck. For now at least. I hope to find more sources to investigate. If I will, I will update the above again.
In the navigation above you can find links to some images. I have found only three photos of Franz Farwerck, all are from his military time. In the top navigation you can find the bibliography with titles of texts/books by Farwerck as far as I know them. I do not own all these texts (yet!). There is still some work to be done. Below you can find the notes.
Franz Farwerck was a zealous man which brought him to some heights, but because he tried to ‘play multiple games of chess’, he also fell deep and hard. This did not prevent him from keep doing what he had in mind: to write a comprehensive investigation about the Teutonic mysteries and show that these mysteries survived into our own day and age.
(1) Tapijtfabrikant en Dominee (‘Carpet manufacturer and clergyman’) by Hans Hoogenboom in Eigen Perk (‘Own perk’) 2015/3, a publication of the Hilversumse Historische Kring (‘Historic circle Hilversum’). The text is available online (PDF) when I write this;
(2) The autobiography of Inayat Khan can be found on several places on the internet. Here is a link to the passages referred to;
(3) “Mijn belangstelling voor de menselijke rassen werd opgewekt toen ik zestien jaar was, toen ik in een museum de overblijfselen van praehistorische mensen zag. Sindsdien heb ik alle mogelijke wetenschappelijke publicaties hierover bestudeerd. Geleidelijk kwam ik op het standpunt dat de erfelijkheid een grote rol speelde in de menselijke aard en wat daaruit voortvloeide”. Quoted in (1)
(4) Ritman Library had a Hermetic ex-libris exposition. Farwerck had one with an ouroboros and this Facebook post (available when I write this) has some useful information;
(5) Volgens Kapitein Bellen (‘according to Captain Bellen’), Henk M. Luning 2013, Sidestone Press;
(6) De SS en Nederland, documenten uit de SS archieven 1935-1945 deel I, published 1976, available online when I write this.
(7) Nationaal Archief: “In Nederland onthoudt de maçonnerie zich van elke politieke inmenging en houdt zich in hoofdzaak met geestelijke problemen bezig. De gedachte dat men voor zijn medemens moest werken, welke gedachte in vrijmetselarij leeft, dacht ik in praktijk te kunnen brengen in de N.S.B.
(8) Correspondentie van mr. M.M. Rost van Tonningen deel I, published 1967, available online when I write this.
(9) The politics of Divine Wisdom 1996 Herman de Tollenaere, available online when I write this.
(10) Broeders en Zusters: Honderd jaar Gemengde Vrijmetselarij, published in 2004 to celebrate a century of Le Droit Humain in the Netherlands, written by Ank Engel (then Grand Archivist).
(11) “Zuster A. Kerdijk, die met een Oostenrijkse jood was getrouwd, vroeg al in 1932 om het ontslag van Broeder Farwerck. Zij was zelf niet joods, maar droeg de davidsster uit solidariteit, toen haar man verplicht werd hem te dragen. Beiden stierven in een Duits concentratiekamp.” (p. 51)
(12) “De nieuwe geest, die over Europa waait, heeft een negatieve en een positieve zijde. Zonder er in het minst een beoordeling aan vast te knopen kunnen we dan constateren, dat de stromingen, die zich onder de naam Fascisme of Nationaal-Socialisme aan ons vertonen, gericht zijn tegen de marxistische gedachte van klassenstrijd en internationale verbroedering van het proletariaat, tegen de liberale opvatting van het begrip vrijheid en voor een nationale samenwerking van alle klassen en standen der maatschappij met een ondergeschikt maken van de individuele vrijheid aan de belangen van de gehele natie.” (Engel p. 47)
(13) “Een nationaal-socialistische stroming mag dan in landen als Italië en Duitsland succes hebben, wij Nederlanders bezien de dingen nuchter, lopen niet zo gauw warm. Bovendien, wij houden niet van ‘import’ en is Nederland niet het klassieke land van de ‘vrijheid’? Waarom ons hier dan bezorgd maken over iets dat toch niet zal gebeuren?”
(14) “Men heeft ook in de fascistische staat de vrijheid om zich te ontplooien, zoals men wil, te denken wat men wil, te handelen zoals men wil, mits dat handelen (en dan ook dat handelen alleen) niet tegen het algemeen belang ingaat. Met andere woorden, men mag de vrijheid niet vóór het individueel belang ten koste van anderen misbruiken. Ook dit vrijheidsbegrip is geheel met het maçonnieke ‘dienstbegrip’ in overeenstemming. Ook op deze grond is er dus geen reden voor de vijandige houding, die tegen de Vrijmetselarij wordt aangenomen.”
(15) “In Rusland mogen de loges niet bestaan. In Duitsland hebben ze zichzelf ontbonden, maar een aantal maçonnieke tijdschriften verschijnt nog, blijkbaar zonder belemmeringen.”
(16) De oorsprong van het ‘eigene’. Nederlands vroegste verleden, archeologie en nationaal-socialisme (‘The origin of the ‘own’. Dutch earliest history, archaeology and national-socialism’) by M. Eickhoff 2003, p. 242. Available online when I write this.
(17) https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Wirth accessed 10/7/2019
(18) Herman Wirth by A.P. van Gilst, 2006 Aspekt
(19) See here (look for Farwerck)
(20) https://sites.google.com/site/ledenregisternsb/f (accessed 30/8/2019)
(21) https://sufipedia.org/personenregister/nederland/ (accessed 4/9/2019)
(22) De NSB by Robin te Slaa and Edwin Klijn, 2009 Boom, isbn 9789085068136
(23) Nationaal Archief: “een bibliotheek van +/- 1200 waardevolle, meest antiquarische maçonnieke boeken, theosophische e.d. literatuur en kritieken op het Duitsche regime”
(24) Nationaal Archief: “Er bestond in die tijd ook “Het Ario-Germaans Genootschap” Farwerck nam deel aan de werkzaamheden van dit Genootschap, welk zich bezig hield met de bestudering van de Germaanse en Keltische mythologie, terwijl bij Farwerck het zwaartepunt lag in zijn belangstelling van de symbologie zoals runentekens enz.
Dit genootschap had nog niets met politiek te maken, het was slechts wetenschappelijk, doch had een mystieke en vrijmetselaars ideologie op de achtergrond.”
(25) Nationaal Archief: “Ik werd lid, op grond van sociale opvattingen die ik in het klein in de praktijk had trachten te brengen in de glasfabriek te Leerdam in samenwerking met Professor Gerbrandy, Professor Schermerhorn e.a. Ik hoopte die in de N.S.B. op groter schaal te helpen verwezelijken. Het leiderprincipe van de N.S.B. was daarbij voor mij geen bezwaar, aangezien ik hierin geen dictatoriale willekeur zag, doch slechts een leidinggevend principe.”
(26) Nationaal Archief: quote from the Van Geelkerken interview. Geelkerken, by the way, is listed as one of the few friends of Farwerck within the N.S.B.
(27) Nationaal Archief: “Mijn invloed op de leiding der N.S.B. was in den loop der jaren zeer achteruitgegaan. Van 1934-1937 had ik het vertrouwen van Ir. Mussert, maar geleidelijk bleek dat onze meeningen of verschillende punten uiteenliepen. Daarom daalde mijn invloed meer en meer en Ir. Mussert kwam in nauwer contact met anderen. Het was ook vooral door den stijgenden invloed van Rost van Tonningen, en diens aanhang, die sterk Duitsch georiënteerd was en waarmede ik jarenlang op voet van oorlog stond, die mijn eigen invloed sterk verminderde. Ik had dan ook al om ontheffing van mijn functie verzocht en behandelde in afwachting daarvan alleen de loopende zaken.”
(28) An outline on the origins and development of the order of international co – freemasonry “Le Droit Humain” (1993) p. 36
last update: 8/4/2022