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Chapter 2: The division of Germany and Berlin
28.09.2009 von by polarworld, translated by Allan Hall, Berlin

THE DIVISION OF GERMANY AND BERLIN

During the Second World War the three main Allied nations – the U.S.A., Great Britain and the Soviet Union, met on several occasions (without France being present) in order to redraw the map of Europe after the final victory over Nazi Germany.

In January 1943 the German Reich was still on the advance with the Sixth Germany Army standing at the gates of Stalingrad. In great secrecy in Casablanca the British and Americans held their first talks in which they announced they would demand nothing less than the unconditional surrender of the German Reich. This conference was held without Stalin as he was still in the Soviet Union advising the Red
Army on the defence of Stalingrad.

During the Tehran conference at the end of 1943 it became quite clear about the future conceptions of the future division of power in Europe and the division of Germany into zones of occupation encompassing Prussia, Saxony and Hanover in the northwest, with Hesse in the centre and Bavaria, Baden and Baden-Wuerttemberg in the south.

TEHRAN CONFERENCE
Conference in Tehran, 28 November until December 1 1943.
The German Reich is besieged at Stalingrad but is still not in full retreat.
Here the ‘Big Three,’ Stalin, Roosevelt und Churchill (from left to right) met to discuss the new world order.
Photo: US Army

In addition it the Soviet-Polish border was decided, the future border between Poland and Germany, the taking over by Poland of East Prussia and Königsberg by the Soviet Union, the return of Bialystok to Poland, the independence of Finland, the actions of Tito who aided the Allies in Yugoslavia, the future independence of Iran after the departure of British and Soviet troops. In addition, the structure of a ring of
protective states in Europe around the Soviet Union was discussed. Stalin welcomed the invasion plans of the western Allies at the same time as his Red Army advanced with pincer movements on the enemy.

The next Allied summit took place just a few months before the German surrender, at Yalta.
The conference of Yalta sought to hammer out differences of interests, work out systems of governance and smooth over disagreements. After the unconditional surrender of Germany (07. - 09. May 1945 ) the Allies finally announced the division of Germany and Berlin in the same month in the tripartite agreement. Because of the massive destruction in Berlin the next conference was held in neighbouring Potsdam.

JALTA CONFERENCE
Conference in Yalta, 04 February until 11 February 1945
Satisfaction over the negotiated allocations, determination over the uncompromising remaining pursuit of the war and confidence over an imminent end to it is seen in the faces of the participants. The landing in Normandy was successful, Paris was regained, but the battle
around Berlin was approaching.
Sitting, from left to right: Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin; far left is the Soviet minister of foreign affairs Molotov, behind Churchill the British fleet admiral Sir Cunningham and marshal Sir Portal, and behind Roosevelt the American fleet admiral Leahy.
(Photo: US Army, C-543-colour.)

The war in the Pacific against Imperial Japan was not over. Only four days after the Potsdam conference, on August 6 1945, and three days after that on August 9, the atom bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Japan surrendered on September 2 1945.

After the military collapse and the implementation of the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces, those held responsible for the war were arrested, condemned in the Nuremberg trials to long prison sentences, or executed.

POTSDAM CONFERENCE
Conference in the Potsdam Cecilienhof castle on July 25 1945.
from left to right: Churchill, Truman und Stalin
Photo: US National Archives and Records Administration


Translation by Allan Hall

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