Potsdam Agreement

Potsdam Agreement

The Potsdam Agreement was an agreement on policy for the occupation and reconstruction of Germany and other nations after fighting in the European Theatre of World War II had ended with the German surrender of May 8, 1945. It was drafted and adopted by the major victorious powers, the USSR, USA and UK, at the Potsdam Conference (called in the text of the Agreement the "Berlin Conference") between July 17 and August 2, 1945.The participants were the top leaders of those three states, Joseph Stalin, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and the ministers of foreign affairs of those states. After Churchill lost the general election and resigned, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Clement Attlee, joined.

In a second document adopted at the conference, the Potsdam Declaration, the United States, Britain and China warned Japan to surrender or face complete destruction.


The Agreement contained the following conclusions reached by the three heads of government:
# Establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers.
#:See the London Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers which took place later in 1945.
#The principles to govern the treatment of Germany in the initial control period.
#:See European Advisory Commission and Allied Control Council
#*A. Political principles.
#:Democratization. Treatment of Germany as a single unit. Disarmament and Demilitarization. Elimination of all Nazi influence.
#*B. Economic principles.
#:Reduction or destruction of all civilian heavy-industry with war-potential, such as shipbuilding, machine production and chemical factories. Restructuring of German economy towards agriculture and light-industry.
#Reparations from Germany.
#:This section covered reparation claims of the USSR from the Soviet zone in Germany. The section also agreed that 10% of the industrial capacity of the western zones unnecessary for the German peace economy should be transferred to the Soviet Union within 2 years
# Disposal of the German navy and merchant marine.
#:All but thirty submarines to be sunk and the rest of the German navy was to be divided equally between the three powers.
#:The German merchant marine was to be divided equally between the three powers, and they would distribute some of those ships to the other Allies. But until the end of the war with Japan all the ships would remain under the authority of the Combined Shipping Adjustment Board and the United Maritime Authority.
# City of Koenigsberg and the adjacent area (then East Prussia now Kaliningrad Oblast).
#:The United States and Britain declared that they would support the transfer of Koenigsberg and the adjacent area to the Soviet Union at the peace conference.
#War criminals
#: This was a short paragraph and covered the creation of the London Charter and the subsequent Nuremberg Trials:

The Three Governments have taken note of the discussions which have been proceeding in recent weeks in London between British, United States, Soviet and French representatives with a view to reaching agreement on the methods of trial of those major war criminals whose crimes under the Moscow Declaration of October, 1943 have no particular geographical localization. The Three Governments reaffirm their intention to bring these criminals to swift and sure justice. They hope that the negotiations in London will result in speedy agreement being reached for this purpose, and they regard it as a matter of great importance that the trial of these major criminals should begin at the earliest possible date. The first list of defendants will be published before 1st September.

#:The government of all of Austria was to be decided after British and American forces entered Vienna, and that Austria should pay reparations.
#::"See also Western betrayal and Territorial changes of Poland after World War II
#:There should be a Provisional Government of National Unity recognised by all three powers, and that those Poles who were serving in British Army formations should be free to return to Poland. The provisional western border should be the Oder-Neisse line, parts of East Prussia and former free City of Danzig should be under Polish administration, but that the final delimitation of the western frontier of Poland should await the peace settlement, which had to await the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany in 1990.
# Conclusion on peace treaties and admission to the United Nations organization.
#:See Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers which took place later in 1945.
#:It was noted that Italy had fought on the side of the Allies and was making good progress towards establishment of a democratic government and institutions and that after the Peace Treaty the three Allies would support an application from a democratic Italian Government for membership of the United Nations. Further
[t] he three Governments have also charged the Council of Foreign Ministers with the task of preparing Peace Treaties for Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary and Romania. The conclusion of Peace Treaties with recognized democratic governments in these States will also enable the three Governments to support applications from them for membership of the United Nations. The three Governments agree to examine each separately in the near future in the light of the conditions then prevailing, the establishment of diplomatic relations with Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary to the extent possible prior to the conclusion of peace treaties with those countries.

#:The details were discussed at later that year at the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers and the treaties were signed in 1947 at the Paris Peace Conference
#:By that time the governments of Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary were Communist ("recognized democratic governments"?).
#Territorial Trusteeship
#:Italian former colonies would be decided in connection with the preparation of a peace treaty for Italy. Like most of the other former European Axis powers the Italian peace treaty was signed at the 1947 Paris Peace Conference.
#Revised Allied Control Commission procedure in Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary
#:Now that hostilities in Europe were at an end the Western Allies should have a greater input into the Control Commissions of Eastern Europe, the Annex to this agreement included detailed changes to the workings of the Hungarian Control Commission.
#Orderly transfer of German Populations
#:Main article Expulsion of Germans after World War II
The Three Governments, having considered the question in all its aspects, recognize that the transfer to Germany of German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, will have to be undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner.

#:The affected Germans were given no choice (and thus were objects of Collective Guilt and intimidation). "German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland" refers to Germans living within the 1937 boundaries of Poland up to the Curzon line going East. In theory, that German ethnic population could have been expelled to the Polish Temporarily Administered territories of Silesia, Main Pomerania, and eastern Brandenburg.
#:Because the Allied Occupation Zones in Germany in Germany were under great strain the Czechoslovak Government, the Polish Provisional Government and the Control Council in Hungary were asked to submit an estimate of the time and rate at which further transfers could be carried out having regard to the present situation in Germany and suspend further expulsions until these estimates were integrated into plans for an equitable distribution of these "removed" Germans among the several zones of occupation.
#Oil equipment in Romania
#:Allied troops were to withdrawn immediately from Tehran and that further stages of the withdrawal of troops from Iran should be considered at the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in London in September, 1945.
#The international zone of Tangier.
#:The city of Tangier and the area around it should remain international and discussed further.
#The Black sea straits.
#:The Montreux Convention should be revised and that this should be discussed with the Turkish Government.
#International inland waterways
#European inland transport conference.
#Directives to the military commanders on allied control council for Germany.
#Use of Allied property for satellite reparations or war trophies
#:These were detailed in Annex II
#Military Talks
*Annex I
*Annex II

External links

* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/truman/psources/ps_potsdam.html Agreements of the Berlin (Potsdam) Conference]
* [http://jcgi.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,778431,00.html Trouble in Germany] Time Magazine, Monday, October 22, 1945
* [http://time-proxy.yaga.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,934360,00.html Cornerstone of Steel] Monday, January 21, 1946
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,804160,00.html The Road Back] Time Magazine, Monday, September 8, 1947

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