- Point of Interest
- Am Neuen Garten, Potsdam, Allemagne
In the summer of 1945, world history was written in Potsdam, just outside Berlin. The three government leaders of the victorious powers met in person to discuss the new order in Europe and Germany. The results of the conference were contained in the Potsdam Agreement.
In the summer of 1945, world history was written at Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, just southwest of Berlin. With the end of the combat operations in Europe, the three government leaders of the victorious powers, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill (replaced by Clement Attlee) and Joseph Stalin, met in person to discuss the new order in Europe and Germany. The ‘Big Three’ came to an agreement about the political principles for the government of Germany during the occupation: decentralization, demilitarization, denazification and democratization. The German-Polish border was to be shifted westwards to the Oder-Neiße line. But the ultimate determination of the German-Polish border was to be delayed until a later peace conference.
Furthermore it was stipulated to suspend further expulsions of German populations from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary and to insure an orderly transfer to Germany.
It was decided that each occupying power was to meet its reparations claims from its own zone. Since the Soviet Union was not satisfied with that, it was agreed that additional reparations would be provided to it from the Western occupation zones.
Although France was informed of the Potsdam decisions, it took no part in the decision-making process. On 7 August 1945 the French government acceded to the Potsdam Agreement, albeit with certain reservations with regard to a number of points.
At the Potsdam Conference it became clear that the end of the war also meant the end of a common policy of the wartime Allies and the beginning of new conflicts. During this ‘Cold War’, there were repeated discussions about how the Potsdam Agreement was to be interpreted.
Svetoslao N. Hlopoff arrived in eastern France as a soldier with the U.S. Army in December 1944. After the surrender of Nazi Germany, a roundabout route took him to the Allied Kommandatura in Berlin as a Russian-English interpreter. In this capacity he experienced the beginnings and the collapse of the Four Powers Administration.
The Second World War in Europe ended in the spring of 1945 with the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. The fate of the German people now lay in the hands of the four victorious powers, the USA, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France. Germany and Berlin were placed under a shared four-party administration.
Charles of Belgium, brother of King Leopold III, was Regent of Belgium from September 1944 to July 1950. Nine governments followed one after the other during this regency, which was marked by the Royal Question and the post war restoration of the country’s economic activity.
The German Ilse Schier spent her childhood and youth in East Prussia, the easternmost part of the German Reich. Her rural idyllic life there ended abruptly with the outbreak of the Second World War.
The Bassinplatz (basin square) is the largest square in the city centre of Potsdam. From the eastern end of the square, a flower-bordered path leads directly to the Soviet War Memorial.
Josef Brettschneider took part in the Battle of Berlin as a young lieutenant. In a hopeless situation, he had to fight with a Volkssturm unit in a city sur-rounded by Soviet troops.