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Potsdam Conference of the Heads of USSR, USA and Great Britain began

17 July 1945

From July 17 to August 2, 1945 in Potsdam, a Berlin suburb, in Cecilienhof palace was held a conference of the Heads of USSR, USA and Great Britain. In the course of the event the problems of world arrangement in the post-war period were discussed.

The delegations were headed by I. V. Stalin, USA president H. Truman and Great Britain premier minister W. Churchill (from July 28 he was replaced by a new prime minister C. Attlee). Also attended the conference Ministers of Foreign Affairs of USSR and Great Britain V. M. Molotov and A. Eden, State Secretary of USA J. Byrnes, British Cabinet of Ministers Secretary A. Bridges, Head of the General Staff of USSR A. I. Antonov, Head of the United Staffs of USA G. K. Marshall, United States Air Force Commander W. Arnold. The English delegation also included Field Marshal Lord of Tunis H.R. Alexander, Admiral of fleet E. Cunningham, Field Marshal B. Montgomery, Marshal of the Royal aviation Ch. Portal.

The main issue on the Conference agenda was the German question. The agreement was reached on preservation and development of Germany as a single democratic peaceable state.

In accordance with the resolutions of Crimea conference of February 11, 1945 the agreements of Potsdam stipulated the complete disarmament and demilitarization of Germany; abolishment of the national-socialist party and its branches; dissolution of all Nazi institutions; prevention of any Nazi and military activity and propaganda; passage of war criminals to the international tribunal; preparation for the final reconstruction of the German political life.

In Potsdam it was confirmed that during the initial control period the supreme power in Germany would be in the hands of the commanders-in-chief of the military forces of USSR, USA, Britain and France in respect with their occupation zones. In order to make the policy coordinated, a single operating body was created: the Allied Control Council.

After long discussions the delegations came to understanding regarding the issue of reparations: all four powers were to obtain reparations from their zones of occupation and at the account of German investments abroad. The USSR received additionally 25% of all the equipment confiscated from the Western zones.

One of the most important resolutions of Potsdam conference was the definition of frontiers established in the Eastern Europe. The Conference agreed to give over to USSR the town of Konigsberg along with the adjoining region. After long discussions the new frontier between Poland and Germany was defined: along the line from Oder river to Western Neisse. Poland also received the town of Gdansk and the largest part of the Eastern Prussia.

The Soviet party confirmed the obligation of USSR to participate in the war against Japan.

Potsdam conference of 1945 had a great political impact on the destinies of the post-war Europe and the issue of peace. It was the third and final one in the series of conferences of the Heads of USSR, USA and Great Britain – the Allies of the WWII.

The official communication regarding the resume of the meeting said that the conference “strengthened the connections between the three governments and expanded the framework of their cooperation and understanding”. It was declared that the governments and nations of the three states – members of the conference “together with other united nations will guarantee the establishment of the just and lasting peace”.

Lit.: Бережков В. М. Страницы дипломатической истории. М., 1987. Из содерж.: Потсдамская конференция. С. 575; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; Материалы Берлинской (Потсдамской) конференции руководителей трёх союзных держав — СССР, США и Великобритании [Электронный ресурс] // Исторический факультет МГУ. 1997-2018. URL:; Советский Союз на международных конференциях периода Великой Отечественной войны 1941–1945 гг.: Сб. документов. Т. 6. М., 1984.

From the Presidential library materials:

1945: From the War to the Post-War World: [digital collection]

Potsdam Conference 17 July - 2 August 1945 // Memory of the Great Victory: [digital collection];

Berlin Conference of the Three Powers: Sat. materials. Riga, 1945;

Government heads of the USSR, USA and Great Britain at the Tehran conference // On this day. 28 November 1943.