Acquaintances

Henri van Ginkel (1880-1954)

The influence of Hendricus Johannes (Henri) van Ginkel on Farwerck must have been immense. Van Ginkel lived in Laren not far from Hilversum where Farwerck lived. Both were active in the Theosophical Society. In 1917 Farwerck lead that lodge. Both were active in the Universal Sufism movement and the Coué foundation.

In 1911, Van Ginkel initiated, passed and raised Farwerck into mixed gender Freemasonry in a lodge that he himself had initially set up in his house, but which would quickly move to Hilversum. Both Farwerck and Van Ginkel were of the opinion that Freemasonry and Theosophy should not mix. As a matter of fact, the lodge that Van Ginkel started (for which he left the first mixed gender lodge in the Netherlands) and in which Farwerck was initiated, was the first lodge with a non-Theosophical (or rather: less Theosophical as Van Ginkel’s reforms weren’t ready yet then) ritual that Van Ginkel himself had written.

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Anne Kerdijk (1882-1944)

Kerdijk was one of the early members of the Dutch federation of Le Droit Humain, but not from the very beginning. Initiated in 1908, and unlike many other early members, she progressed through degrees slowly. Her passing was in 1909 and her raising in 1910. Kerdijk is mentioned in the documents surrounding the founding of the Dutch federation in 1918.

Together with H.J. van Ginkel Kerdijk was editor of the magazine Swastika, which was published between 1911 and the outbreak of the First World War. She was also editor of the official bulletin of the Dutch federation of Le Droit Humain. She also translated texts, such as the book De Godsdienst der Vrijmetselarij by Charles Fort, which was published by the publishing house of Van Ginkel and Duwaer. In addition, Kerdijk was married to Stefan Schlesinger.

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Stephan Schlesinger (1896-1944)

Stephan Schlesinger was born in Vienna on January 14, 1896. After graduating, Schlesinger went to the technical college to study architecture. Because he was called for duty during the First World War, Schlesinger could not complete this study.

On February 27, 1924, the Jewish Schlesinger married the Dutch Anna (Be) Kerdijk (1882-1944) in Vienna. According to Wikipedia, Kerdijk was half Jewish, other sources say she was not Jewish. Due to the growing anti-Semitism in Vienna, the couple moved to the Netherlands a year after their marriage. Schlesinger provided graphic work for old and new clients in his new country.
Besides graphic design, Schlesinger proved to be a designer in several areas. He designed furniture, fonts and packaging. Moreover, not all of his work was commercial. I came across his name because he designed covers of books of N.V. Maçonnieke Uitgevers Maatschappij (and I suspect also the logo) such as those of the book Mysteriën En Inwijdingen In De Oudheid (‘Mysteries and Initiations in Antiquity’) by B.J. van der Zuylen (F.E. Farwerck). Schlesinger also designed various Ex Libris, such as Farwerck’s Masonic Ex Libris.

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August Heyting (1879-1949)

While rereading texts on this website I realised that long after I started to make this website, I have been writing short biographies of people that (possibly) were acquaintances of Farwerck. The poet August Heyting deserves a place among these ranks.

Heyting was born in Dutch Indonesia in 1879. He married in 1907. He studied in Breda (Netherlands) and got involved in stage playing. At that time he also wrote, something not everybody was happy about, since he was more productive than he was good in the eyes of some.

Also in 1906, Heyting started to write about the Germanic past. He used the pseudonym Gustaaf van Elring for his play “Harald de Skalde” (‘Harald the Skald’). In this way he path started to close in to that of Farwerck.

On 18 November 1931 Farwerck, Heyting and some others were involved in the foundation of the “Nederlandsch Ario-Germaansche Genootschap” (‘Dutch Ario-Germanic Society’). The circle wanted to study not non-Christian past of the Dutch people.
Already on 27 November, a few people, among whom Heyting and Farwerck left the group. It seems that they were of the opinion that the others involved had too political aims.

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Willem Nijs (1902-1961)

A great find from a fellow Farwerck investigator.

Farwerck had al least two ex-libris bookplates, a Masonic one and one that is often called “alchemical”. In the biography I refer to a Facebook post of the Ritman Library who had the “alchemical” ex-libris in an exhibition in 2015 (1). The post says: “The designer of the present bookplate, who signed with the initials ‘W.F.N.’, is unknown (suggestions are welcome).

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Nick Schors (1925-2014)

Another interesting character who somehow crossed the life of Farwerck.

As you can see on the right, Schors owned books previously owned by Farwerck. I know a few such example. Schors’ ex-libris says: “Librairie des Sciences Occultes, W.N. Schors” (‘library of occult sciences’) and his address in Amsterdam.

This is not the only connection between the two, Schors also published a book of Farwerck. That is to say, in 1976, so after Farwerck died, he republished Farwerck’s first book from 1927 with an alternative cover. Schors (re)published more books from the publishers Duwaer and Van Ginkel who published Farwerck’s debut.

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Egbert Smedes

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?’).

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Jan Thierens

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.

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Van Meerwijk

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).

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Jos. Raemaekers

I am always on the hunt for new leads on Farwerck and so I once again bumped into the name “Jos. Raemaekers”. I connect the name to a writer with similar subjects as Farwerck (from folklore to esotericism), but never really looked into the man. Then I was rereading Bouwsteenen a Masonic periodical that also published texts by Farwerck and my eye fell on two texts of Raemaekers in a volume from 1928. One is called “Kinderspelen” (‘children’s games’), the other “Citroen” (‘lemon’). Especially the first is quite Farwerck-like. Many, many details, going from folklore to mythology and he even mentions guilds. Could Raemaekers be a/the inspiration for Farwerck?

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