The Potsdam Conference was a meeting of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States in Potsdam, Germany from July 17 to August 2, 1945. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Clement Attlee), the President of the United States (Harry S. Truman) and the leader of the USSR (Joseph Stalin) met to talk about Germany on July 1945 and were going to discuss what should happen to it now that the Second World War was over.
The first conference was held at Yalta, but the allies did not agree on anything very important. However, a lot had happened since the Yalta Conference. Firstly, the USA had a new president named Harry Truman. He was much tougher on Communism than the previous president, Roosevelt, had been. This was a problem for Stalin. Also, Churchill had been voted out and was replaced by Clement Attlee. Stalin saw himself as far more experienced than these new leaders. Stalin also caused trouble, as some of what the allies agreed on at Yalta was that Poland should have a neutral government. Stalin had killed the neutral government leaders and replaced them with ones that would listen to him. This meant that there were a lot of problems at Potsdam.
The allies talked about and agreed that:
- Germany would be temporarily split into four pieces (occupation zones), one occupied by France, one by the USSR, one by the USA and one by Britain.
- A large piece of eastern Germany would become Polish, and Germans expelled.
- Nazi criminals would be judged and sentenced.
- Germany to be demilitarised.
The allies talked about but did not agree on:
- How to separate Germany
- How much money Germany should pay to the winners of the war
- How Stalin was treating Poland
- How much land Poland should have