Rev. William Hechler - Friend, Mentor and Legitimizer of Theodor Herzl
An unmarked resting place, marked, honored and remembered,
Rev. William Hechler and his children
Rev. William Henry Hechler was born in Benares, India, October 1, 1845. He died in Islington (London) 1931. While serving as the chaplain for the British Embassy in Vienna (1896), he read Theodor Herzl's newly written, "The Jewish State" (der Judenstaadt). He immediately understood the centrality and vital importance of Herzl's work as complimentary to the prophetic biblical restoration of the Jews. Hechler allied himself with Herzl and the nascent Zionist movement providing key introductions to Herzl to German Royal Society. Hechler had been the tutor to the Archduke Frederick I of Baden's children and friend to the Archduke. With Hechler's and the Archduke's assistance, Herzl met the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Herzl's publically perceived diplomatic successes, facilitated by Hechler, propelled Herzl unto the international scene with astonishing speed. Herzl met Abdul Hamid II,Sultan of Turkey, in 1896. Hechler significantly legitimized Herzl and enormously aided the acceptance and development of Zionism. Hechler remained a confidant, friend, supporter and aide to Herzl until Herzl's death in 1904. Hechler had been one of the very first supporters of Herzl. He was at Herzl's bedside at his death. It has long been recognized that without Hechler's intercession and support , Herzl may have simply remained an obscure, eccentric Viennese journalist. The course of Zionism, and possibly the very founding of the modern State of Israel, may not have been successful.