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about Farwerck


Some biographies of Farwerck mention that he travelled for work. My first thought was that he combined business with pleasure and took the opportunity to travel to places to take photos for his books. This proved to be not true. All photos that he used in books and lists as having been made himself, are taken in the Netherlands. He does use photos of other countries but these are either taken from other works or sent to him by correspondents. So or did he not travel as much as suggested?

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Farwerck and Le Droit Humain

A couple of years I paged through all Bulletins that were published between 1918 and 1933 in one afternoon rapidly taking pictures of what appeared to be interesting. Now I have all these issues myself, so I can check them for information without the rush.

The Dutch part of the international mixed gender Masonic organisation Le Droit Humain started in 1904. In Bulletin 3 from 1933 (March) a text is published about the first 25 years. The text was a lecture of Johannes Francisus Duwaer (1869-1944) which was reworked for publication by Anne Schlesinger-Kerdijk (1882-1944). Duwaer has a few details that were new to me.

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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.

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The Finish federation of Le Droit Humain (“Suomen Yhteisvapaamuurarijärjestön Äänenkannattaja”) has published a magazine called Kulmamitta which Deepl translates to “angle measure”. I suppose it is a reference to the building trade that Freemasonry took inspiration from. The magazine appears to have first been published in 1927.

The first issue from 1928 contains a text with the title: “Tietoja Hollannin Liiton Toömaalta” which Deepl translates to “information from the Dutch federation site”. I will give the Deepl translation below as it shows a bit how Farwerck was as a Freemason.

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The auction of Farwerck’s library

Several years ago I visited the Dutch Royal Library for a few of my investigations, one being Farwerck. The Royal Library has most of Farwerck’s publications, including the smaller books that I’ve never found for my own library. Also it contains correspondence between Willy Farwerck and Georges Zorab, but most interestingly, the catalogue of the auction of Farwerck’s library (or so I thought) on May 25th and 26th 1971, three years after he passed away.

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Torenlaan 8

I don’t remember where I found it, but I have a photo or scan of a hand written letter of Farwerck in which he asks the local government permission for the expansion of Torenlaan No. 8 where he lives.

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Ons Eigen Volk / Our Own People

After all these years I still run into new publications in which Farwerck has published. This time a periodical named “Ons Eigen Volk”, meaning “Our Own People”. The title immediately suggests that it is one from the “Völkish” milieu.

“Ons Eigen Volk” was published by the “Nederlands Volkskundig Genootschap” or “Dutch Folkloristic Society”. The contemporary “Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur” (“Dutch Centre for Folk-culture”) says that one of their predecessors is the Dutch Folkloristic Society and that this was started after the war in 1949. Another source says that “Eigen Volk” was initially a periodical of an academic organisation. This society was strained by WWII and abandoned after the war. In 1949 a new society with the same name was founded.

Main editor J. Rasch writes in the first issue that he had worked for the periodical “Ons Volk” (“Our People”) for 11 years when the publisher thought it didn’t bring enough money. Rasch took things in his own hands, found another publisher and slightly changed the name.

The names of cooperators in the first issue of 1940 contain two familiar names: H.J. Bellen and M. van de Velde. The first was an early layman archaeologist, the other a fellow Theosophist who knew Farwerck. Van de Velde was an active contributor until the end. He proves to have more incommon with Farwerck than Theosophy.
A contributor of the first issue was poet August Heyting and also Egbert Smedes sent in a text.

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