After the war, people who have been active in the Nationaal Socialistische Beweging (‘National Socialist Movement’, N.S.B.), have been investigated to see if they should be prosecuted. Farwerck was of course one of them.
One biography quotes from these files and it took me quite a while before I located them and then again some time before I managed to check them myself.
Quite by accident I ran into a possibly interesting person: Egbert Jacob Smedes. Smedes was born in 1889 in Assen, Netherlands and he passed away in 1975 in Haarlem, Netherlands. He was a teacher and clerk, “modern Humanist” and wrote several books.
When I was looking for something non-Farwerck related I ran into a fairly long article by Smedes in the Indisch Maçonniek Tijdschrift (‘Indian Masonic Periodical’) 1938/9. The text has the catching title Is Onze Loge een Directe Voorzetting van de Oud-Germaansche Gilde? (‘Is our lodge a direct continuation of the old-Germanic guild?’).
Here we have another interesting and elusive subject. In her book about the Dutch federation of Le Droit Humain, Ank Engel writes that Farwerck laboured for the cause of Esperanto. I have run into more references to Esperanto, so how exactly did Farwerck fit in that picture?
Esperanto is a language constructed from (mostly Indo-European) languages that is supposed to be easy to learn and hence become an international language. The Pole L.L. Zahendorf developed it in the late 19th century and in the first decades, it was quite successfull.
In one of his 1953 books, Farwerck thanked E.J.F. Thierens for his help. Thierens was Farwerck’s successor as Grand Commander of Le Droit Humain when Farwerck left to join the National Socialist Movement. Apparently, over two decades along the line, the two were still in contact. So who was this E.J.F. Thierens?
Thierens’ full names are Elie Johannes François, Jan in short. He was born in 1882, so he was a little older than Farwerck. Thierens died in 1967.
Van Meerwijk is a name that I often run into when I am looking for information about Farwerck. There was a couple Van Meerwijk. He was Joseph Leonard Corneille van Meerwijk (1873-1948), she Anna Petronella Verdonck (1886-1984). They married on September 11th 1918.
Joseph is mostly known as director of one of the biggest insurance companies in the Netherlands, Centraal Beheer (until 1937).
After long and hard searching it become more and more plausible that Farwerck had been involved in the Theosophical Society. I finally found proof that he even headed a lodge in his hometown.
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’.
In 1924 Farwerck was involved in yet another activity, a foundation to spread the ideas of Emile Coué (1857-1926). “King of the subconciousness” Coué himself came to Hilversum to speak. Farwerck, chairman of the new foundation, also spoke at that gathering.
In a shorter newspaper article other names involved in this foundation are mentioned. Some will start to sound familiar. Emil Luden (1863-1942) was another of the founders of the Goois Museum. J.L.C. van Meerwijk (1873-1948) was a familiar of Farwerck on several other occasions, Theosophy Freemasonry, Sufism.
As we saw, Farwerck had certain social idea(l)s. It seems that the Rotary Club was perfect for him in this regard.
“Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.”
Says Wikipedia (accessed 7/9/19) about Rotary International.
There we have Farwerck in a nutshell. A business leader who wants to “work for the fellow man” and has already done so in numerous workers’ committees. I totally understand how he saw opportunities when the first Rotary Clubs in the Netherlands were started in 1924 in Amsterdam and Utrecht.
After having had a look at the ‘Nehalennia crew‘ to see what kind of people Farwerck worked with for his periodical, I thought to jump back in time. An under-lighted aspect of Farwerck is his interest in archaeology and local history, but he has been very active in these fields for many years. Some light can possibly be shed when we have a look at the foundation of the Museum Het Gooi en Omstreken, since Farwerck did not live in a vacuum. “Het Gooi” is the area where Farwerck lived. The museum was named after that area and its surroundings (“omstreken”). The short name of the museum was “Goois Museum”. The museum still exists, but is nowadays called Museum Hilversum.
Franz’ brother, Carl Wilhelm, or Willy, is frustrating to investigate. He followed his brother on several adventures, but remained so much in Franz’ shadow that he is hardly ever mentioned.