Both Franz and his brother Willy were born in Amsterdam. The family moved to the Emmastraat 58 in Hilversum some time before 1914. Even though Franz is sometimes listed on other addresses (Rotterdam, Amsterdam, the second I can explain) he lived at the Emmastraat until he died. Or so I thought!
Nowadays there is no Emmastraat 58, the house is gone. I looked around a bit for what happened.
Referring to Carl Wilhelm Farwerck‘s wife, I realised that I never really looked at Johanna. I didn’t even have her years of birth and death present when I needed them. Time to change this.
It wasn’t too difficult to find out when Johanna lived. She was born in Amsterdam on 3 May 1901 and she passed away on 15 May 1992 in Hilversum. At the time she had children, grand children and grand grand children. Thus says the advertisement of her mourning, so at the end of this text.
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.
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.
I’m not yet 100% sure about the events that led to this foundation. A respondent (see below this text) mentions the name of Josephina Simonis, but I haven’t ran into that name anywhere in the information that I gathered. Then again, looking for her specific name, she does appear to have advertised for having a Coué method practice. In one of them, she names herself a student of Coué.