Rev. William Hechler, instrumental Christian advocate for Theodore Herzl, commemorated by fellow Zionists

Rev. William Hechler
(The Jerusalem Post) by Jonny Paul.  Israeli officials, int'l and local British Jewish leaders attend tombstone commemoration of Rev. William Henry Hechler in London.


Rev. William Henry Hechler was pivotal to Herzl’s diplomatic successes, allying himself with the emerging Zionist movement and providing Herzl with key introductions to German royal society.

Hechler had been a close friend of Archduke Frederick I of Baden and a tutor to his children.

In 1896, while serving as the chaplain for the British Embassy in Vienna, he read Herzl’s newly written pamphlet, “The Jewish State,” and immediately understood the centrality and importance of Herzl’s work as complementary to his belief in the prophetic biblical restoration of the Jews.


New tombstone in New Southgate Cemetery in London
In 1893, Hechler published his own broadsheet, “The Restoration of the Jews to Palestine according to the Prophecy,” and anticipated that the days of the Jewish salvation would begin in 1897-1898.

With Hechler’s and the Archduke’s assistance, Herzl met the sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid II, in 1896 and German Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1898. ...
Jerry Klinger – president of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, an organization that identifies and recognizes sites of American Jewish Historical interest (which arranged the headstone for Hechler's forgotten grave) --   noted that “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.”

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