Potsdam Conference

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Image:Trumanstalin.jpg
Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin meeting at the Potsdam Conference on July 18, 1945. From left to right, first row: Stalin, Truman, Soviet Ambassador Andrei Gromyko, Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov. Second row: Truman confidant Harry Vaughan [1], Russian interpreter Charles Bohlen, Truman naval aide James K. Vardaman, Jr., and Charles Griffith Ross (partially obscured) [2].

The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof in Potsdam, Germany, from July 17 to August 2, 1945. The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the three largest and most powerful of the victorious Allies that defeated the Axis Powers in World War II. The three nations were represented by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and later Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.

Stalin, Churchill, and Truman—as well as Attlee, who replaced Churchill after the Labour Party's defeat of the Conservatives in the 1945 general election—had gathered to decide how to administer the defeated Nazi Germany, which had agreed to unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier, on May 8 (V-E Day). The goals of the conference also included the establishment of post-war order, peace treaties issues, and countering the effects of war.

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[edit] Participants

Image:Potsdam conference 1945-8.jpg
Clement Attlee, Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, July 1945
He arrived at the conference a day late, citing "official business" that required his attention, but in fact may have suffered a minor heart attack.
The results of the British election became known during the conference. As a result of the Labour Party victory over the Conservative Party the Premiership changed hands.
Joseph Stalin suggested that Truman preside over the conference as the only head of state attending, a recommendation accepted by Churchill.

[edit] Primary results of the conference

[edit] Potsdam Agreement

Main article the Potsdam Agreement

At the end of the conference, the Three Heads of Government agreed on the following actions:

Image:Map of Poland (1945).png
Poland's old and new borders, 1945. Territory previously part of Germany is identified in yellow
  • All other issues were to be answered by the final peace conference to be called as soon as possible.

[edit] Potsdam Declaration

Main article the Potsdam Declaration

In addition to the Potsdam Agreement, on July 26 the United States, the British Empire and the Republic of China (the Soviet Union was not at war with Japan during the Conference) issued the Potsdam Declaration which outlined the terms of surrender for Japan.

[edit] Other issues

The western allies, and especially Churchill, were suspicious of the motives of Stalin, who had already installed communist governments in the central European countries under his influence; the Potsdam conference turned out to be the last conference among the allied leaders.

During the conference, Truman mentioned to Stalin about an unspecified "powerful new weapon"; Stalin, who knew of its existence long before Truman ever knew through placing spies inside US borders, encouraged the usage of any weapon that would hasten the end of the war. Towards the end of the conference, Japan was given an ultimatum (threatening "prompt and utter destruction", without mentioning the new bomb), and hastily after Japan had rejected it, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, 1945 respectively. Truman made the decision to use atomic weapons to end the war while at the conference.

[edit] The Potsdam Conference was preceded by

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Notes

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[edit] References

cs:Postupimská konference

de:Potsdamer Konferenz [[en:Potsdamkonferansen es:Conferencia de Potsdam fr:Conférence de Potsdam it:Conferenza di Potsdam he:ועידת פוטסדאם lv:Potsdamas konference nl:Conferentie van Potsdam ja:ポツダム会談 ka:პოტსდამის კონფერენცია no:Potsdamkonferansen pl:Konferencja poczdamska pt:Conferência de Potsdam ro:Conferinţa de la Potsdam fi:Potsdamin konferenssi sv:Potsdamkonferensen tr:Potsdam Konferansı zh:波茨坦会议

Potsdam Conference

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