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?’).
In the biography I say that for a long time Farwerck travelled a lot for his work and he used the occasions to make photographs that later appeared in his books. Then I thought to see if he gives sources for his images to check if this is true. He does.
In his final work, Farwerck has two-and-a-half pages with sources for his images. This list contains book titles and then the numbers for the images that he used are mentioned. So you get for example: “Richard Beitl Deutsche Volkskunde, Berlin 1933: 49, 61”
Yes I said two-and-a-half pages with such lines, so that are a lot of sources. One such line is for Farwerk himself. 15 Images out of 265 are photos shot by himself.
A line up, two photos of “F. de Fremery, Hilversum” are mentioned.
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.
In 1928, Reverend Van Duyl and carpet manufacturer Farwerck got to know each other closely. Not through religion, because Farwerck was not religiously active anywhere. On a spiritual level, he was completely and exclusively committed to (mixed-gender) freemasonry. (1)
Thus says Hans Hoogenboom (2). By now we know that this is not true. In 1921 Farwerck was active in the very spiritual Universal Sufism order. Also we have very strong suggestions that Farwerck was active in the Theosophical Society. Both are far more spiritual than the Masonic order that Farwerck was member of. In basis at least. Freemasonry is a system of symbolism that every member can interpret in his/her own way. Le Droit Humain in Farwerck’s time was very Theosophical (that could be how he got to know of mixed gender Freemasonry), but Farwerck joined the first ‘non-Theosophical’ lodge. Perhaps he did interpret the system ‘Theosophically’, but that is something I have no indications of.
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).
Because this subject is so elusive, it is fascinating. Some serious digging makes it very likely that Farwerck indeed was active in Theosophical circles.
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.