At the Yalta conference, France was granted an occupation zone in Germany. France participates in the Berlin Declaration and must be on an equal footing in the Allied Control Council. Nevertheless, Charles de Gaulle was not invited to Potsdam at the insistence of the Americans, just as he had been denied a performance at Yalta. The diplomatic trifle was a reason for deep and persistent resentment for him.  The reasons for this omission included the long-standing personal mutual antagonism between Roosevelt and de Gaulle, the ongoing disputes over the French and American occupation zones, and the expected conflicts of interest over French`Indochina.  It also reflected the British and American assessment that French objectives might contradict agreed Anglo-American objectives with respect to many items on the conference agenda.  When Truman informed Stalin of the atomic bomb, he said that the United States „had a new weapon of unusual destructive power,“ but Stalin had full knowledge of the development of the atomic bomb from Soviet spy networks within the Manhattan Project, and told Truman at the conference that he hoped Truman would „use it well against the Japanese.“  Another topic of the conference concerned the borders of Germany and Poland. Poland`s borders had been discussed at the Yalta conference in February, but they remained largely undefined. Poland`s eastern border was to be moved westward to give the Soviet Union additional territory. To compensate for Poland`s loss, the participants decided that Germany should hand over countries to Poland. As a result, nine million Germans were to be resettled in Poland under its new borders.
Potsdam was intended only for a temporary solution to German issues until a comprehensive peace conference was held. But as the Cold War deepened, the provisional became permanent. Although the Allies claimed that Germany should be treated as „a single economic entity,“ as the British had predicted, the zonal reparations agreements accelerated the division of Germany. But the biggest stumbling blocks in Potsdam were Poland`s post-war fate, the revision of its borders and that of Germany, and the expulsion of several million ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe. The issue of Poland was of great importance both at the Tehran conferences and at Yalta. In exchange for its territory lost to the Soviet Union, Poland was to be compensated in the west by large parts of Germany up to the Oder-Neisse line – the border along the Oder and Neisse rivers. Stalin, Churchill and Truman – as well as Attlee, who sided with Churchill pending the outcome of the 1945 general election and becoming prime minister after Labour`s defeat to the Conservatives – came together to decide how to administer defeated Nazi Germany, which had agreed to surrender unconditionally nine weeks earlier. May 8 (V-E-Day). The objectives of the conference included the establishment of the post-war order, issues relating to peace treaties, and combating the effects of war. The „Big Three“ with their staff at the conference table of the Potsdam Conference on July 17, 1945. The Potsdam Conference, which took place near Berlin from 17 July to 2 August 1945, was the last of the three major meetings of World War II.
The Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, the new AMERICAN President Harry S. Truman and the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (replaced on 28th July by his successor Clement Attlee). On July 26, the leaders issued a statement demanding Japan`s „unconditional surrender,“ concealing the fact that they had privately agreed to let Japan keep its emperor. Otherwise, the conference focused on post-war Europe. A Council of Foreign Ministers was agreed, comprising the big three, as well as China and France. The German military administration was established, with an Allied Central Control Council (the requirement that approval decisions be unanimous would later prove crippling). The Heads of State and Government agreed on various agreements on the German economy, with a focus on the development of agriculture and non-military industry. The institutions that had controlled the economy under the Nazis were to be decentralized, but all of Germany would be treated as one economic entity. War criminals would be brought to justice. Stalin`s request to define the German-Polish border was postponed to the peace treaty, but the conference agreed to his transfer of land east of the Oder and Neisse rivers from Germany to Poland.
In the case of reparations, a compromise was made on the basis of the exchange of capital goods from the western zone for raw materials from the east. He resolved a dispute, but set a precedent for the management of the German economy by zone and not globally, as the Western powers had hoped. Although post-war Europe dominated potsdam`s agenda, the war hid in the Pacific off stage. Truman received news of the success of the atomic bomb test shortly after his arrival in Potsdam; he broke the news to Churchill, but only casually mentioned „a new weapon“ to Stalin. Truman continued to ask Stalin for help against Japan, but he knew that if the bomb succeeded, Russian help would not be needed. In fact, the bomb would give the United States unprecedented power in the postwar world. The reader`s companion to American history. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, editors.
Copyright © 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. The central theme was the fate of Germany after the war. The country had been divided into four zones of military occupation among the Americans, British, French and Soviets. On July 18, the conference quickly accepted Truman`s sketch proposals for further progress. In each zone, the Allies would eliminate all relics of Nazism, bring war criminals to justice, and establish democratic government at the local level. For now, no German central government would be formed. The last summit conference of World War II (codenamed „Terminal“) took place from July 17 to August 2, 1945 in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam.