St Stephen’s Crown: Part 2 (Return to Hungary)

1978 - Return to Hungary

In 1944 the Szent Korona was secretly taken out of Hungary by the Hungarian guards to protect it from the Nazis and subsequently the Communist invasion. Then in 1945 a Hungarian general gave it to the United States Army for safe-keeping.  Initially the crown was housed in Weisbaden then moved to the US Gold Reserve at Fort Knox, Kentucky. 

The Crown of St. Stephen remained at Fort Knox until 1978 when President Jimmy Carter decided to return it to Hungary, so that an entire generation of Hungarians would be able to experience the symbolism of their national treasure. This was a very controversial decision since the Communists were still in control of Hungary. The return of the crown was a time of great celebration for the Hungarian people. This began the warming of relations between Hungary and the West and sowed the seeds for Hungary to become the first country to break the Cold War in 1990.

Today the Crown resides in the Hungarian Parliament Building for all of the Hungarian people to see.

The Souvenir Sheet pictured above was issued in January of 1978 to commemorate the return of the Crown to Hungary.

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