SPELLMAN, Francis J. Cardinal
Longtime archbishop of New York. Military Ordinary, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston. Intimate of Pope Pius XII.
TLS – Typewritten Letter Signed, one page, 14 January 1957, addressed to Brooklyn real estate mogul, Herbert J. Hinkel of Cosmopolitan Realty. Reads: Thank you for your letter of December 29, expressing your concern and that of your organization for the poor Hungarian refugees. A number of long-established agencies, such as Catholic Relief Services – N.C.W.C., Church World Service, the Lutheran Federation, the United HIAS and others, are now busily engaged in finding homes and jobs for the Hungarians who have come to the United States. It seems that the new agency you have created can be of most help by cooperating with these groups. A full list of their Directors and addresses can be secured from the President’s Committee at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. With cordial best wishes, I am…” Letter has been certified by James Spence (JSA). Usual folds and light soiling but, overall, very good.
The largest wave of refugees in Europe’s post-WWII history were the Hungarians fleeing the country after the crushing of the revolution and freedom fight in 1956. In the weeks after the second, overwhelming, Soviet military intervention on November 4, 1956, 200,000 Hungarians set out on foot in the harsh winter, avoiding roads and paths, each with a single bundle on their backs, crossing minefields and barbed wire to reach the Western and Southern borders to Austria and Yugoslavia. The refugees were received warmly and with great empathy by the people on the other side of the border; authorities set up refugee camps and Western democracies rushed to offer places for the refugees. In the next two years, all of the Hungarians found a home in the free world, were given free education and helped to find work.
HERBERT HINKEL (1922-94) was the former president of Brahm Management, an apartment house management firm in Glendale, Queens, formerly a resident of Brooklyn and Queens. For over 40 years he was engaged in real estate and teaching, appraisal, brokering and consultancy and a certified property manager. Hinkel, a staunch Roman Catholic, was a Knight of Grace in the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, Fellow of the Augustan Society, member of the Monarchist League in England, Knight in the Order of Saint Constantine, and a former member of the NY Chapter of Real Estate Brokers and Managers. He was a member of the Anti-Communist League of Asia and Europe. He was the recipient of many honors from the President of the United States and leaders of the nations of the world for his work against communism and the cause of humanity.
Spellman was one of the most influential churchmen of the 20th century, somewhat irreverently called The American Pope for his close association with Pope Pius XII. Early in his priestly career, he was reassigned from Boston to Rome by William Cardinal O’Connell who was not fond of the priest. O’Connell referred to Spellman as a “little popinjay” and observed “…Francis epitomizes what happens to a bookkeeper when you teach him how to read.”
Authored several works; distinguished US stamp collector (left a large collection to Regis College, Weston, MA).