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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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Small things

Yesterday I got a small pile of books. I already had them, but wanted to prevent them from getting lost. I noticed that one of the books looks different from the version that I already had:

The one on the right is the new one. Initially I thought the hard cover had been taken off, but the back has the title as well. Besides, the titles are different. The brown book has a soft cover, hardly thicker than the sheets, but it appears to be a another edition in which a strange typo of the original cover was corrected. The font is slightly different.

This book isn’t too easy to find, but I had never ran into the ‘second edition’ before at all.

The Secrets of the Building Huts

From 1951 to 1958 Farwerck and others created the periodical Nehalennia. In the III-2 issue of 1958 a text by Farwerck that proves that he was still investigating the heathen origins of Freemasonry, but he came in with a slightly different angle.

Once again I scanned the article, threw it through an online OCR program and after some corrections, through the Google translator.

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Spirituality and National Socialism

Quite by accident I ran into the book Between Occultism and Nazism of Peter Staudenmaier. It is not one of these popular books about occult interest of Nazis, but an academic publication about how esotericists, mostly Anthroposophists, acted during World War II and how the regime reacted to them. It is not immediately a wildly interesting subject at first sight, but in a way this could say something about Farwerck and people in his vicinity.

Looking back today it is quite incredible that people with -in this example- Antroposophist leanings would see anything in the upcoming of a regime that would destroy millions of lives, the same as it strikes us as odd that Farwerck was of the opinion that he could work for his fellow man through workers’ unions, Freemasonry, the Rotary and National-Socialism. Staudenmaier has some observations that may help explain this.

As homogenous as we may think the German National-Socialist movement was (or the Italian fascist movement), it was actually pretty divided on some points. One of these points was “occultism”. Some of the leaders were involved themselves in one type or another, while others -that later on would get the upper hand- were fiercely against anything that smelled of it and arrange prohibitions from 1935 on, yet under strong opposition of supporters.

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Ernest Louis Selleger (1876-1967)

Ernest Louis Selleger (Tenno for short) was a likely contact for Farwerck. He was an interesting character, though a bit elusive for the interests of this website. He has been mentioned a few times before. I decided to see if I could find some more information about the man.

Selleger was born on 2 Augustus 1876 in Pemalang, Dutch Indonesia. He had three brothers and three sisters. In some ways, his wife Johanna Madeleine (Nancy for short) Elout (1875-1957) was more famous than Tenno, at least, with the general audience. Elout would become a rather famous writer of children’s books later in her life. The couple met each other in Switzerland in 1905. They had two sons, one of them died at an early age in Laren, a place name you will run into more often on this website.

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Marijn Cochius (1874–1938)

Better known as P.M. Cochius (Petrus Marinus), here we have a man that I run into in connection with Farwerck frequently. The two had much in common, but Cochius was Farwercks senior by 15 years. It is time to dedicate a few words to Cochius.

Cochius was born as the son of the major of Rijswijk. There was a glass factory in the family as well and that is how Cochius came into the business. I have already devoted some text to this factory in which Farwerck (and fellow Theosophist Tenno Selleger (1876-1967) to whose sister Cochius was married) was involved too.

One movement that Farwerck and Cochius shared was Theosophy. In the Dutch Theosophical periodical Theosofia of April 2008 there is a nice biography from which much information in this little text comes.

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New and edited

Yesterday I was lucky. Every now and then I look around a bit to see if any new information was added somewhere. When searching the digital archives at Delpher my eye soon feel on magazine titles that weren’t familiar to me. They were the monthly magazines of the Dutch Rotary Club. There proved to me many, so I tried scanning them to see what information about Farwerck would be there. This resulted in another text about the Rotary Club. There was not groundbreaking new information, but we do get to learn the man a little better again and he mentions having been abroad a few times.

There is also irony in information that becomes available over time. For a long, long time I have been trying to prove if Farwerck was a member of the Theosophical Society or not. I finally succeeded a few months back due to a very lucky shot when I ran into old American Theosophical magazines online. In my search of yesterday I found two Dutch magazines of the Theosophical Society which simply state him as leading the Hilversum lodge. I edited the Theosophy article somewhat.

A funny finding was a sports magazine in which Farwerck at the age of 16 is twice mentioned as being a member of a club that appears to have played both cricket and soccer. A not uncommon combination in 1905 by the way.

No new information, but newly added were two issues of the magazine of the Dutch vegetarian union. One mentions Farwerck joining (1918) another his resignation (1922).

I added a little text about P.M. Cochius.

I don’t yet know if it’s ‘usable’, but I also found an old elementary school publication with a short text by the 12 year old K.J. Farwerck (and a story about Balder), who married “mrs. Farwerck“. That daughter in law of C.W. Farwerck cooperated with Farwerck on his publishing house Thule and the periodical Nehalennia.

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.