Born in Antwerp,
Belgium, August 15, 1909
Grew up in Basle. Citizen of Switzerland.
Place of residence: Haifa. Citizen of Israel.
Married 1941 in Belgrade to Edith, nee Zilzer, born in Vincovci, Yugoslavia.
Died April 14, 1993.
to Eretz Israel 1936; was sent by the Irgun (Etzel) Commander to Europe
could return only after the rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948.
1915 - 1928: Early schooling in Antwerp, Frankfurt a.M., Mannheim, Heidelberg, and, after 1919, Basle.
1928 - 1933: Studies at the Universities of Munich, Heidelberg, Berlin.
Graduated with the degree of "Diplom-Volkswirt" - equivalent to M.A. - in 1931 and Dr. rer. pol. (magna cum laude) -
equivalent to Ph.D. in Political Science - in 1933 at the University of Heidelberg.
Areas of special studies, apart from Political Science and Economics, were Law, Archaeology, History of Art,
the Arts and Humanities, Ancient History, Natural Sciences, Theater and Journalism.
Until completion of studies and thereafter, professional training and activity in the family enterprises - Neptun-Rhenania Concern - which had been founded and developed at the turn of the century by his father Jacob Hecht and his uncle, Hermann Hecht. This group of companies along of Rhine, Main and Neckar rivers, from Basle to Antwerp and Rotterdam, deals with the carrying, storing and transshipment of goods of all kinds on inland waterways.
1933 - 1935: Basle, Paris and Antwerp.
1936: Immigration to Eretz Israel. Apprenticeship with Japhet Bank, Jerusalem; Dr. Sklover's Fishing Company, Haifa.
1937: Proposed to the Mandatory Government via Jewish Agency to establish a grain silo in the new port of Haifa, which the
British Mandatory Government rejected.
1944 - 1947: Before the end of World War II and thereafter, worked for the restitution of the family's Rhenania-Group from the
Germans, who had expropriated and "aryanized" it. Negotations with the Allied Authorities.
1945: Immediately after the war: Paris, then Basle, worked in "Neptun" till 1948.
1946 - 1972: Administrator Delegue of "Neptune" Societe Belge de Transports & de Navigation S.A., Antwerp.
1946: Member of the Board of Directors of "Herrenmühle" Heidelberg, and 1946/47 - 1972 of "Rhenania" Schiffahrts & Speditions
G.m.b.H., Mannheim, the Central Company of the Rhenania group, both positions in connection with his work for the
restitution of the formerly "aryanized" family enterprises.
1948: Immediately after the Proclamation of the State of Israel, proposed to and negotiated with the Provisional Government of
Israel the establishment of modern post silos in the harbors of Israel, as well as a silo network and port installations for
discharging, loading and handling of all kinds of goods in bulk.
1948 - 1950: Obtained the first Government concession of the State of Israel, for the harbor-silo in Haifa Port (signed 1950).
1951 - 1993: Founder and/or Chairman and/or Director of various economic enterprises (some are listed below)
- " - Founder, Chairman and Managing Director (since 1979 Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive) of "Dagon"
Batey-Mamguroth Le-Israel Ltd., Haifa.
1960: Awarded the Kaplan Prize (Government award for efficiency) for Dagon.
1962 - 1970: Member of the Board of Nederlandsche Elevator Maatschappij, Rotterdam (N.E.M., Netherlands Silo Company).
1963 - 1970: After the death of the founder Jacob Hecht, President of "Verwaltungsrat" (Board of Directors) of "Neptun" Transport
& Schiffahrts A.G., Basle, the Central Company of the restituted Neptun-Rhenania Group.
1964 - 1993: Member of Board of Jewish Colonial Trust (Founded by Herzl), The mother company of Bank Leumi Le-Israel B.M.
1975: Awarded the (first) Industry Prize of the Israel Manufacturers' Association.
1977 - 1993: Member of the Board of "Le Rhin" Societe de Navigation S.A. Antwerp.
1981 - 1993: Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive of "Mamguroth Ashdod B.M." (Ashdod Silos Company), Ashdod.
1982 - 1993: Cofounder and member of the Board of "Eitam" Israel Advanced Industries Ltd., Ariel, Samaria.
Service, Zionist and Political Activities
During early school years group leader in the "Blau-Weiss" movement in Basle.
After 1929, as University student, active in the K.J.V. - Kartell Jüdischer Verbindungen (Group of Zionist-Academic fraternities in
Germany), including instructor in Jewish History and Zionism.
1931: Extensive visit to Eretz Israel with K.J.V. group, afterwards toured the country alone and on foot,working in Kibbutz and
1933 - 1948: Member of various Zionist instructions and committees, engaged in missions of the Revisionist World Organization
1933 - 1934: Worked in the Office of the World Executive of Hazohar under Vladimir Jabotinsky in Paris, was cofounder of the
"World-Union of the State-Zionist Academicians (W.S.A.) Javne ve-Jodefet"
1935: Delegate to the Founding Congress of the New Zionist Organization (Hazach) in Vienna.
Spring 1936: Aliyah (Immigration) to Eretz Israel.
1936 - 1948: Activities in "Zohar" and Irgun Zvai Leumi (Etzel). 1936 - 1939: residing mainly in Jerusalem; also in Tel-Aviv and
1938: Appointed by Ze'ev Jabotinsky as a member of the provisional leadership of the New Zionist Organization in Eretz Israel.
1939: Sent to Europe by Irgun Commander David Raziel in order to help organize Aliya-Beth (clandestine immigration). Opened
"Emigrations-Bureau" in Zurich which served as Revisionist and Irgun office.
1939 - 1941: Aliya-Beth and political activities in Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, the Balkan countries like Hungary, Rumania,
Yugoslavia, as a representative of the Irgun.
Pesach/Easter 1941: surprised with his wife in Yugoslavia by the German invasion, survived only because by chance stayed at
the same Hotel Milinov in Zagreb which served as Headquarters of Generalfeldmarschall von Liszt, Commander-in-Chief of
the German Balkan Army.
1941 - 1948: During World War II and afterwards, activities in Switzerland as Representative of the Irgun and the Revisionist and
New Zionist World Executive, as member of the European Executive of the Vaad Ha-hatzala (American Emergency
Committee) of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States of America and Canada, as European member of the
"Hebrew Committee of National Liberation", Washington (Bergson Group), as Repatriation Commissioner of the "League for
a Free Palestine", Washington. Immediately after the War, 1945, served in the World Executive of Hazohar and Hazach
and as a member of a Revisionist World Party Council. Rescue and political activities in Western Europe.
1948: After the establishment of the State, returned to Israel and settled in Haifa.
1966: Received "Oth Hativat Hagola" for activities on behalf of Etzel in Europe.
1968: Received "Aleh-Israel Government Decoration of Fighter for the State".
1978: Received emblem of the "Rishoney Etzel" (First in "Etzel") organization.
1979: Received "Oth Ha-Irgun Ha-Zvai Ha-leumi Be-Eretz-Israel, Etzel" Government decoration, by Ministry of Defense.
1961: Cofounder, Member of Board, and since 1975 Honorary member, of the Israel-Belgium and Haifa-Antwerp Friendship
Associations; in 1975 awarded Medal of the City of Antwerp; in 1975 decorated Chevalier de l'ordre de la Couronne de
1967: Cofounder of the "Eretz Israel ha-Shlema" (The whole Land of Israel) Movement.
1970: Became Honorary Citizen of Haifa.
1977: Appointed by Prime Minister Menachem Begin "Yoetz Ishi le Rosh-Hamemshala" (Personal Adviser to the Prime Minister
of Israel). In this capacity participated most of the official journeys of the Prime Minister to the USA, Canada, England,
1977 - 1993: Political activities on behalf of the Prime Minister, conveyed and explained Israeli policies to officials and public
figures, mainly from Western Europe and America, including Christian religion leaders. Press, TV and radio interviews.
1983: With the resignation of Prime Minister Begin, resigned Personal Adviser post, and was appointed by Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir "Yoetz Bahir" (Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel).
and Public Activities
Active member of various organizations, including:
1943 - 1973: Member of the Board of Haifa Municipal Museum of Ancient Art.
1950 - 1975: Member of the Board of Haifa City Symphony Orchestra, since of its inception.
1955 - 1993: Member of Rotary International, Haifa Club.
1956: Founder and Director of the "Dagon Archaeological Museum of Grain Handling in Israel", recognized in 1966 by I.C.O.M.,
International Council of Museums, Paris, as a museum; since then active member of ICOM.
1958 - 1993: Member of the Board of Societe Suisse a Haifa.
1972 - 1993: Member of the Executive Boards of the Israel-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce and of the Israel-Switzerland
Friendship Association, Tel-Aviv.
1960 - 1977: Member of the Permanent Committee for the Design of Banknotes, Coins and Commemorative Medals of the Bank
of Israel, Jerusalem.
1961 - 1993: Member of "Keren Nasi Yisrael" (the President of Israel's Fund), and since 1970, its Chairman.
1961 - 1973: Member of the Board of Haifa Municipal Museum of Modern Art.
1961 - 1975: Member of the Board of Directors of Haifa Municipal Theater, since its inception.
1961 - 1976: Member of the Israel Board of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and Chairman of the subcommittee for
Archaeology, Museums and Art.
1961 - 1993: Member of the Board of Governors of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem.
1963 - 1993: Member of the Board of Governors of the Technion, The Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.
1965 - 1993: Member of the International Council of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and contributor of archaeological objects to its
collections. In 1977 nominated Honorary Fellow of the Israel Museum.
1965 - 1993: Founder, Chairman of the Board, and owner of Shikmona Publishing Company Ltd., at Haifa, since 1973 in
Jerusalem; specializing in the publication of Zionist, art and archaeology books.
1966 - 1993: Member of the Government Archaeological Council, Jerusalem, appointed by the Minister of Education and Culture.
1966 - 1975 and 1982 - 1993: Member of the Public Council for Culture and Arts, Jerusalem, attached to the Ministry of
Education and Culture.
1970: Cofounder of the Haifa University, and from inception in 1971 to death Member of the Board of Governors; since 1974
Member of the Board's Executive Committee and of various committees, including the Art Committee.
1973 - 1993: Founder and Member of the Board of the Hecht Foundation at Haifa University for Zionism, Art and Archaeology.
1974: "The Reuben Hecht Chair of Zionism" was established at Haifa University.
1984: Received the first Honorary Ph.D. (Dr. Phil. Honoris Causa) bestowed the Haifa University.
1971 - 1993: Member of the Council for a beautiful Eretz Israel, Tel Aviv, since inception.
- " - Member of the International Board of the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot.
- " - Member of the Board of the Israel Festival, affiliated with the Ministry of Education and Culture.
1973 - 1993: Member of the Board and co-owner of Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
1978: Conceived the "Derech ha-Dorot" (Road of the Millennia), an Archaeological Park of the Haifa University in the National
Park on Mount Carmel.
1978: Appointed Chevalier d'Honneur, Cordon Bleu du Saint-Esprit, kompturei Schweiz, Zurich.
1980 - 1993: Member of the Board of "Keren Habitachon LIBI" (Educational Fund for the Israel Defense Forces).
- " - Member of the Honorary Committee of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Jerusalem.
1981 - 1993: Member of the International Board of Beth Hatefutsoth, the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, Tel Aviv.
1981: Initiator and cofounder of the Archaeological and Art Museum of Haifa University. The University established "The Reuben
and Edith Hecht Museum", the nucleus of which is Hecht's Israel archaeological and art collections with the theme: "The
People of Israel in the Land of Israel", opened in 1984.
1982: Member, Board of Directors, The Haifa Museum Association.
1983: Member of the "Aliya-Beth" Research Association.
- " - Member of the International Panel of Judges of the Jabotinsky Prize, Shield of Jerusalem) for the Defense of the Rights of
the Jewish People, New York.
- " - Member of the Board of Trustees of the Admiral H.G. Rickover Foundation, McLean, Virginia, USA.
- " - Recipient of the "David-Prize 1983 for Truth and Justice", sponsored by the "Israelitisches
Wochenblatt", Zurich, (Switzerland's Jewish Weekly).
- " - Member of the Museums Council, Jerusalem, attached to the Ministry of Culture and Education.
1971 - 1993: Member of the Council for a Beautiful Eretz-Israel, Tel Aviv, since its inception.
1972 - 1993: Member of the International Board of the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, and since 1985 Governon Emeritus.
1972 - 1993: Member of the Board of the Israel Festival, attached to the Ministry of Education and Culture.
1973 - 1984: Member of the Board and co-owner of "Koren Publishers" Jerusalem Ltd.
1980 - 1987: Member of the Board of "Keren Habitachon LIBI" (Fund for strengthening of the Israel Defense Forces).
1981 - 1993: Member of the International Board of Beth Hatefutsoth, the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, Tel Aviv.
1983 - 1993: Member of the Government's "Aliya Beth" Research Association Founded in memory of Shaul Avigur.
1983 - 1988: Member of the Board of Trustees of the Admiral H. G. Rickover Foundation McLean, Virginia, USA (since 1987 its
name was changed to "Center for Excellence in Education").
1983 - 1993: Member of the Panel of judges of the Jabotinsky Prize; Shield of Jerusalem; For the Defense of the Rights of the
Jewish People, New York.
1983 - 1986: Member of the Museum's Council sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
1984: Founder of Archaeological Museum "The People of Israel in Eretz Israel" in the University of Haifa (which includes his own
collections), the Reuben and Edith Hecht Museum.
1985: Declared "Man of the Sea" of 1985 by the Israel Maritime League.
- " - "Yakir B'nai Brith" (Dignitary Award).
1986: Received B'nai Brith International Humanitarianism Award.
1987: Received Medal of the Histadruth (award of the General Federation of Labor in Israel).
- " - Member of Council and steering Committee of Law Commemoration for Israel's President and Prime Ministers 5747/1986.
1988: Awarded lifetime Honorary Member of Heruth, Haifa.
- " - The "Golden Angel Award" for excellence in moral quality media.
- " - Israel Prize for exemplary Service of a Lifetime to the Society and State.
- " - Yakir (Worthy) of Beautiful Israel.
- " - Special Medal for Contribution to the Economy of Haifa given by the Haifa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
1989: Extraordinary Ambassador appointed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Moshe Arens.
1990: Roving Ambassador Appointed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Moshe Arens.
1993: Awarded the "Decoration d'Officier de l'Orde de Lepold" by the King of Belgium.
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