about Farwerck

Vegetarian Farwerck

Not too much information about this subject, but still enough to make a separate mention.

“De Nederlandse Vegetariërsbond” (‘the Dutch union of vegetarians’) was founded as early as 1894. According to Wikipedia, the initiative came from A. Verschoor from Rotterdam. What Wikipedia doesn’t mention is that at the founding meeting several Theosophists were present. With P.C. Meuleman-Van Ginkel we are already in the Van Ginkel family of Henri van Ginkel who would initiate Farwerck into co-Masonry in 1911. Meuleman was also involved in the early days of Dutch Theosophy.

Most likely through his Theosophical contacts, Farwerck joined the union late 1918 as we can see in the periodical of the union that can be found online. Apparently Farwerck was not as active in this union as he was in other groups that he found, because the only other mention in the named periodical is from early 1922 when he resigned. Also this issue can be found online.

In his Rotary Club vegetarianism was a subject too on 4 October 1937 and again on 20 January 1938, but these talks were not by Farwerck, but by Cochius.

Rotary Holland

The digitalisation of archives continues, so it pays off to check for new information every once in a while. I found out that the periodical of the Dutch Rotary Club has found its way to an online archive. Farwerck is mentioned frequently, so let us have a look if this monthly magazine / newsletter has new information.

Rotary started in the Netherlands in 1927 in Hilversum and Amsterdam and Farwerck was involved. No wonder that the first “Rotary Holland” (as the name of the magazine goes) is from that year and that Farwerck is mentioned. This is not very interesting though, it is only mentioned that he was present at a meeting on 1 November 1927. Somewhat interesting, also present was Cochius.

The next mention is that he was present on 2 February 1928. Also present then was Van Duyl who would later ask him to join the N.S.B. In that time he is mostly listed as present, but on 19 April 1928 Farwerck spoke about his carpet factory, Interestingly enough, the short report opens with a quote of Inayat Khan that not Farwerck, but another member (Rozenbeek) presented. The meeting after Farwercks talk, the idea arises to start a museum in Hilversum. It would take several more years for this to become true.

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Het sportblad

I had only vague references that Franz Farwerck did something with horses, just like other members of his family. Now I run into a periodical called “Het Sportblad” (‘the sports magazine’) in which Farwerck is listed twice.

The first six pages are about soccer, Dutch sports number one. Then there is a strange divider and there follows a member list:

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Mixed gender Freemasonry (in the Netherlands)

Farwerck’s Freemasonry is spoken about on this website (and elsewhere) frequently. Time for a little more in depth information. Let me start with a bird’s eye view of mixed gender Freemasonry (or co-Masonry) and how it came to the Netherlands. Then we are going to have a look at Farwerck’s place in all this.

Freemasonry is traditionally a men’s thing, but towards the end of the 19th century some people started to do more to change that than just talk. A French lodge initiated a woman in 1882, Maria Deraismes (1828-1894). Even though the lodge that did this was already quite liberal, the Grand Lodge they worked under did not agree. Deraismes and Georges Martin (1844-1916) decided to start a new Masonic organisation, open for both men and women, the Grande Loge Symbolique Écossaise “Le Droit Humain” in 1893,

This symbolic Scottish Grand Lodge would eventually become “The International Order of Freemasonry Le Droit Humain”, LDH for short.

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On Farwerck’s removal from the N.S.B.

The fellow Farwerck investigator who brought me most of the recent new information also ran into some sort of diary combined with some other information sheds a little more light on Farwerck’s removal from the National Socialist Movement. It also shows a bit more about Farwerck’s relationships.

The man we are talking about his Hans Ernst Schneider (1909-1999). He was originally a professor of literature in Germany, but he became a national socialist eventually working for the Ahnenerbe. Between 1940 and 1942 he worked for the SS in Den Haag (The Hague) in the Netherlands. According to Wikipedia: “he was responsible for replacing the staff of universities in German-occupied Netherlands and Belgium with Nazis and collaborators” (1) Apparently he had the same job for the Dutch National Socialist Movement.

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Archaeology

This is a subject I want to have a better look at, but I’m still hunting for information. Here are some preliminary results.

Archaeology in the Netherlands officially ‘exists’ since 1818 when it became a study at the University of Leiden and the National Museum for Antiquities was founded in the same city. This didn’t immediately lead to a boom of archaeological investigations in the country though. In Farwerck’s time, especially after WWII, there was a growing number of amateur archaeologists and interested people who started to unite and to cooperate with the finally growing number of professional archaeologists. That is when things start to get interesting regarding Farwerck.

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Farwerck the photographer

In the biography I say that for a long time Farwerck travelled a lot for his work and he used the occasions to make photographs that later appeared in his books. Then I thought to see if he gives sources for his images to check if this is true. He does.

In his final work, Farwerck has two-and-a-half pages with sources for his images. This list contains book titles and then the numbers for the images that he used are mentioned. So you get for example: “Richard Beitl Deutsche Volkskunde, Berlin 1933: 49, 61” Yes I said two-and-a-half pages with such lines, so that are a lot of sources. One such line is for Farwerk himself. 15 Images out of 265 are photos shot by himself. A line up, two photos of “F. de Fremery, Hilversum” are mentioned.

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Belief

In 1928, Reverend Van Duyl and carpet manufacturer Farwerck got to know each other closely. Not through religion, because Farwerck was not religiously active anywhere. On a spiritual level, he was completely and exclusively committed to (mixed-gender) freemasonry. (1)

Thus says Hans Hoogenboom (2). By now we know that this is not true. In 1921 Farwerck was active in the very spiritual Universal Sufism order. Also Farwerck was active in the Theosophical Society. Both are far more spiritual than the Masonic order that Farwerck was member of. In basis at least. Freemasonry is a system of symbolism that every member can interpret in his/her own way. Le Droit Humain in Farwerck’s time was very Theosophical (that could be how he got to know of mixed gender Freemasonry), but Farwerck joined the first ‘non-Theosophical’ lodge. Perhaps he did interpret the system ‘Theosophically’, but that is something I have no indications of.

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Theosophy

After long and hard searching it become more and more plausible that Farwerck had been involved in the Theosophical Society. As new sources became available, the suggestion became a fact.

By the time that Farwerck was active the Dutch branch of the Theosophical Society has been around for a while. There is information about these early days, but two decades down the line is less interesting and thus less well documented. Fortunately, something did happen around ‘Farwerck’s time’.

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The question of the Jews

This is a difficult subject. Difficult in several ways. First it seems that writing about Farwerck and the Jewish question, there is only black or white. Some authors seem to want to try to prove that Farwerck was a radical antisemite, while others almost play down the notion.

The other reason is that Farwerck is not too clear about where he stood, at least, not clear enough for our own day and time.

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