The main objective of the Potsdam conference was to put an end to the post-war period and to put into practice all that had been agreed in Yalta. While the Yalta meeting was rather friendly, the Potsdam conference was marked by differences of opinion that were the result of some important changes since the Yalta conference. After the end of the Second World War in Europe (1939-1945) and the decisions of previous conferences in Tehran, Casablanca and Yalta, the Allies had taken the highest authority over Germany by the Berlin Declaration of 5 June 1945. At the conference of the three powers in Berlin (formal title of the Potsdam Conference) from 17 July to 2 August 1945, they approved and adopted the amstbiss of 1 August 1945. The signatories were Secretary General Joseph Stalin, President Harry S. Truman and Prime Minister Clement Attlee, who had replaced Winston Churchill as the United Kingdom`s representative following the 1945 British general election. The three powers also agreed to invite France and China to participate, as members of the Council of Foreign Ministers, which was established for the agreement. The provisional government of the French Republic accepted the invitation on 7 August, with the main caveat that it would not accept from the outset any obligation to form a central government in Germany. The conference agreed on the terms of the surrender for Japan, which will be managed by a Council of Foreign Ministers in charge of peace agreements. The Japanese government would be invited to proclaim an unconditional capitulation, although Stalin said this would not be acceptable to the Japanese emperor. The Allies agreed that “the goal was not to enslave Japan,” but Japan would be occupied until unconditional surrender was achieved.
The conference also agreed on germany`s future. The Allied priority was to disarm the country: “To eliminate Germany`s war potential, the production of weapons, ammunition and war equipment, as well as all types of aircraft and sea ships, must be banned and prevented.” Reparations were also accepted, and a trial was planned for major war criminals. To remember the things that were discussed at each conference, use the Mnemonic PEER The Potsdam Conference is perhaps best known for President Truman`s conversation with Stalin on July 24, 1945, during which the President announced to the Soviet leader that the United States had successfully detonated the first atomic bomb on July 16, 1945. Historians have often interpreted Truman`s somewhat firm attitude during the negotiations to mean that the U.S. negotiating team believed that the U.S. nuclear capabilities would strengthen its bargaining power. Stalin, however, was already well informed about the American nuclear program thanks to the Soviet secret services; he stood his ground in his positions. This situation has made negotiations difficult. The leaders of the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union, who had remained allies during the war despite their differences, never met collectively again to discuss cooperation in post-war reconstruction.
In Potsdam, little real progress has been made, beyond an agreement on fulfilling the commitments made in Yalta. Remember, you still have to learn what was decided (or was not decided!) The three governments took note of discussions in recent weeks in London between representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union and France to reach agreement on the methods of trial of major war criminals whose crimes do not present a particular geographical location after the Moscow Declaration of October 1943.