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17 July 1945

Potsdam Conference 17 July – 2 August 1945

The third meeting of the Big Three took place in Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, Germany.
The conference was given a codename (cryptonym): Terminal.

12 April 1945
President Roosevelt dies. His vice-president Harry S. Truman takes over the office.

16 April – 2 May 1945
Soviet victory in the battle of Berlin. Red Army in control of all territories east of Berlin (Baltic States, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania)

8 May 1945
Unconditional surrender of Germany. The end of war in Europe.

26 June 1945
Signing of the United Nations Charter at the end of San Francisco conference. The charter was signed by all the countries who fought the Axis.

16 July
First nuclear test “Trinity” at the American desert. Truman was notified of the success just before the Potsdam conference

26 July
Results of 5 July elections in United Kingdom. Clement Attlee replaces Churchill as prime minister and comes to Potsdam on 28 July.

General decisions

Japan was called to an unconditional surrender or else it would face “utter destruction”

Council of Foreign Ministers – members of the council - foreign ministers of UK, USA, USSR, France and China will prepare peace treaties with former German allies (e.g. Italy, Bulgaria, Romania).

German war criminals will be brought to justice. The trials should start at the earliest possible time

Reparations – Allies will receive reparations from their occupation zones in Germany. Poland will be given reparations from the Soviet zone.
It was agreed that transfer of German people from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary would have to be undertaken. It was supposed to be organized in an “orderly and humane manner.”

Occupation zone borders in Germany, 1947.From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

Decisions about states and borders

Germany –
Germany will be governed by the allied Control Commission. The country will undergo the following changes (later usually referred to as 4 "D"):
Demilitarization – destruction of all military formations, weapons to be taken over by the Allies, military industry to be destroyed
Decartelization – restructuring the economy from large monopoly groups (cartels) to free market
Denazification – destruction of Nazi party (NSDAP) and all institution affiliated with it in order to eradicate Nazism
Democratization – turning Germany back into a democratic country

Germany will be divided by the Allies into 4 occupation zones: American British, French and Soviet. Berlin which lay in the Soviet occupation zone will also divided by the into four zones.

The city of Konigsberg and its area will be transferred to the Soviet Union
Austria – will be divided into 4 occupations zones, as well as the capital Vienna

Poland – most of the eastern border confirmed on “Curzon line”. Former German territories up to Oder river and Neisse river, most of East Prussia, as well as the former free city of Danzig
will be under Polish administration until a peace settlement.

Japan will be completely disarmed and stripped of conquered territories. Japanese war criminals will be charged and Japan will become a democratic state.

The "Big Three" at the Potsdam Conference, Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin.fot.akg-images/EAST NEWS


Transfer of millions of people in eastern Europe from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary to Germany and from USSR (former polish borderlands) to Poland.

Nuremberg trials in the years 1945-1949 – The highest ranking Nazi war criminals, in total 185 people, were tried before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg and later before other tribunals. The main charges concerned crimes against humanity, against world peace and war crimes.

Two atomic bombs dropped on Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945. Those attacks resulted in surrender of Japan on 2 September. The end war in the Pacific theatre.

17 June 1945

Trial of the Sixteen

04 November 1945

Yalta Conference (Crimea Conference)