New York’s "Most Famous German-American,"
Awarded Germany’s Highest Civilian Honour
New York - William Hetzler, General Chairman of the
German-American Steuben Parade, was honoured with the First Class Cross of
Merit Award from the Federal Government of Germany. The award is the highest
civilian honour given by the German Government.
German Consul General Bernard von der Planitz presented the
award to Mr. Hetzler at the German House in Manhattan. The German government
bestowed this honour on MR. Hetzler for his significant cultural
contributions to improving German-Jewish relations, for his 11-year
commitment as General Chairman of the German-American Steuben Parade and his
service as Governor Pataki’s advisor on German affairs.
"I share this award with my family and the German
community which has allowed me the privilege to serve them honourably and
with pride. I am motivated and encouraged by this award, and I look forward
to continuing my efforts," states Mr. Hetzler.
Donald Trump, Norman Gottfried, a leader in the
German-Jewish community and Supreme Court Justice Ute W. Lally were among
the crowd of community leaders who paid tribute to Mr. Hetzler.
William Hetzler has been active in public service for
several decades. In his pursuit to further improve the interests of
Americans with German heritage, he serves on many boards of municipal
organizations and cultural institutions. Aside from his duties as Chairman
of the German-American Steuben Parade Committee, Mr. Hetzler is also the
honorary President of the United German-American Committee of the USA, Inc.
and Director and Treasurer of the German-American Committee of Greater New
York, Inc. Mr. Hetzler immigrated from Germany in 1957 as a teenager, and
served two years in the U.S. Army.