Potsdam Conference, 1945

   Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, the leaders of the victorious Allied powers met at Potsdam, near Berlin, for a conference from 17 July to 2 August 1945. It was the first opportunity for the new U.S. president, Harry S. Truman, to meet his British and Soviet counterparts, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Churchill was replaced on 27 July by Clement Attlee, who became prime minister following his election victory. Although no substantive agreements were reached, those made at the Yalta Conference on the division of Germany into zones were confirmed, but there was some indication that the Russians would oppose moves toward economic reunification. The Eastern Frontier between Germany and Poland was also agreed on, but the amount of reparations to be paid to the Soviet Union was scaled down considerably. Truman indicated that he expected elections and a new government to be established in Poland. He also informed Stalin that the United States had developed a new and powerful weapon but made no direct reference to the atomic bomb. Stalin confirmed his intention to enter the war against Japan. Code-named “Terminal,” the Potsdam meeting was the last meeting of the respective heads of state for 10 years as relations quickly deteriorated with the onset of the Cold War.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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