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Hungarian Hyperinflation
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Historical Background
Inflation, page 1        Inflation, page 2
Adópengö, page 1        Adópengö, page 2

On 15th July 1946 the first Hungarian stamps in the Adópengö denomination were issued, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Hungarian Railways.  This set was valid until July 31, but whether any were actually used after 18th July when the postage raised again (Period 26) is another question. 

These values should be multiplied by 2 trillion for having the value in Pengö.  
Exemple:  10,000 Ap = 20,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 20 quadrillion Pengö (20 followed by 24 zeros).  

  • Hungary 1946.  First stamps with face value in Adópengö.   10,000 Ap, 20,000 Ap, 30,000 Ap, and 40,000 Ap, respectively.  Scott # 785-788.

Below is a letter sent 19th July 1946 (the second day of Period 26) from Hungary to The Netherlands.  It is correctly franked with 400.000 Ap = 800 quadrillion Pengö (800 followed by 24 zeros!)

  • Hungary 1946.  Letter from Hungary to The Netherlands, franked with 400,000 Ap.  

The below address card concerns a parcel of fruit, weighing 20 kg.  It was sent on 29th July 1946 (Period 29), only three days before the hyperinflation was terminated.  It cost the horrendous price of 3,2 billion Ap + fee of 500 Ap.  After the rate of exchange the final price was 7,400 quadrillion of Pengö (74 followed by 26 zeros), and shows clearly the terrible situation for the country and the population.

  • Hungary 29th July 1946.  Address card for a parcel of 20 kg, and 7.400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Pengö. 

On 26th July 1946 the last stamps from the period of the inflation were issued with face values of 1 and 5 million Ap.  One million Ap was the rate for a postcard to abroad, but how many people could possibly afford caring for greetings to family and friends with such prices?   

  • Hungary 26th July 1946.  The stamps are shown largely oversized.  Scott # 783 and 784.

The inflation was terminated Wednesday 31st July 1946, and the currency reform took place on 1st August 1946.  The rate of exchange was:  1 Forint of 100 Filler for 400,000 quadrillion = (4 x 10^29) or (4 times 10 to the 29th power). 

On 1st August 1946 new stamps in Forint denomination were introduced.  Forint-values were green with agricultural symbols, and filler-values brown with industrial symbols.   

  • Hungary 1st August 1946.  A selection of the new currency stamps issued immediately after the hyperinflation was terminated.  Scott # 791, 792, 794, and 795. 
  • Hungary 21st August 1946.  A registered letter sent from Budapest to Danish Red Cross in Silkeborg (Denmark), franked with 3 stamps of each 1 Forint.  The postage for a letter to abroad was 1 Ft, and the fee for registration was 2 Ft, totalling 3 Ft. 

Historical Background
Inflation, page 1        Inflation, page 2
Adópengö, page 1        Adópengö, page 2

Literature and references used for this article:


Revised 02 nov 2006 
Copyright © by Ann Mette Heindorff
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