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Yalta Conference - Definition, Date and WW2

Yalta Conference - Definition, Date and WW2

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The Yalta Conference was a meeting of three World War II allies: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. The trio met in February 1945 in the resort city of Yalta, located along the Black Sea coast of the Crimean Peninsula. The “Big Three” Allied leaders discussed the post-war fate of defeated Germany and the rest of Europe, the terms of Soviet entry into the ongoing war in the Pacific against Japan and the formation and operation of the new United Nations.

Tehran Conference

Prior to the Yalta Conference, the three leaders met in November 1943 in Tehran, Iran, where they coordinated the next phase of war against the Axis Powers in Europe and the Pacific.

At the Tehran Conference, the United States and Britain had committed to launching an invasion of northern France in mid-1944, opening another front of the war against Nazi Germany. Stalin, meanwhile, had agreed in principle to join the war against Japan in the Pacific after Germany was defeated.

By February 1945, as Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin gathered again at Yalta, an Allied victory in Europe was on the horizon. Having liberated France and Belgium from Nazi occupation, the Allies now threatened the German border; to the east, Soviet troops had driven back the Germans in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania and gotten within 40 miles of Berlin. This put Stalin at a distinct advantage during the meeting at the Black Sea resort, a location he himself had proposed after insisting his doctors had barred him from traveling long distances.

Pacific War

While the war in Europe was winding down, Roosevelt knew the United States still faced a protracted struggle against Japan in the Pacific War, and wanted to confirm Soviet support in an effort to limit the length of and casualties sustained in that conflict. At Yalta, Stalin agreed that Soviet forces would join the Allies in the war against Japan within "two or three months" after Germany’s surrender.

In return for its support in the Pacific War, the other Allies agreed, the Soviet Union would gain control of Japanese territory it had lost in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, including southern Sakhalin (Karafuto) and the Kuril Islands. Stalin also demanded that the United States grant diplomatic recognition of Mongolia’s independence from China; the Mongolian People’s Republic, founded in 1924, was a Soviet satellite.

Division of Germany

At Yalta, the Big Three agreed that after Germany’s unconditional surrender, it would be divided into four post-war occupation zones, controlled by U.S., British, French and Soviet military forces. The city of Berlin would also be divided into similar occupation zones. France’s leader, Charles de Gaulle, was not invited to the Yalta Conference, and Stalin agreed to include France in the post-war governing of Germany only if France’s zone of occupation was taken from the US and British zones.

The Allied leaders also determined that Germany should be completely demilitarized and “denazified,” and that it would assume some responsibility for post-war reparations, but not sole responsibility.

Poland and Eastern Europe

Stalin took a hard line on the question of Poland, pointing out that within three decades, Germany had twice used the nation as a corridor through which to invade Russia. He declared that the Soviet Union would not return the territory in Poland that it had annexed in 1939, and would not meet the demands of the Polish government-in-exile based in London.

Stalin did agree to allow representatives from other Polish political parties into the communist-dominated provisional government installed in Poland, and to sanction free elections there — one of Churchill’s key objectives.

In addition, the Soviets promised to allow free elections in all territories in Eastern Europe liberated from Nazi occupation, including Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. In return, the United States and Britain agreed that future governments in Eastern European nations bordering Soviet Union should be “friendly” to the Soviet regime, satisfying Stalin’s desire for a zone of influence to provide a buffer against future conflicts in Europe.

United Nations

At Yalta, Stalin agreed to Soviet participation in the United Nations, the international peacekeeping organization that Roosevelt and Churchill had agreed to form in 1941 as part of the Atlantic Charter. He gave this commitment after all three leaders had agreed on a plan whereby all permanent members of the organization’s Security Council would hold veto power.

Having discussed these key issues, the Big Three agreed to meet again after Germany’s surrender, in order to finalize the borders of post-war Europe and other outstanding questions.

“There is no doubt that the tide of Anglo-Soviet-American friendship had reached a new high,” wrote James Byrnes, who accompanied Roosevelt to Yalta, in his memoirs. Though Roosevelt and Churchill also considered the Yalta Conference an indication that their wartime cooperation with the Soviets would continue in peacetime, such optimistic hopes would prove to be short-lived.

Impact of the Yalta Conference

By March 1945, it had become clear that Stalin had no intention of keeping his promises regarding political freedom in Poland. Instead, Soviet troops helped squash any opposition to the provisional government based in Lublin, Poland. When elections were finally held in 1947, they predictably solidified Poland as one of the first Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe.

Many Americans criticized Roosevelt — who was seriously ill during the Yalta Conference and died just two months later, in April 1945 — for the concessions he made at Yalta regarding Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and Northeast Asia. President Harry Truman, Roosevelt’s successor, would be far more suspicious of Stalin that July, when the leaders of the Big Three Allied powers met again at the Potsdam Conference in Germany to hash out the final terms for ending World War II in Europe.

But with his troops occupying much of Germany and Eastern Europe, Stalin was able to effectively ratify the concessions he won at Yalta, pressing his advantage over Truman and Churchill (who was replaced mid-conference by Prime Minister Clement Atlee). In March 1946, barely a year after the Yalta Conference, Churchill delivered his famous speech declaring that an “iron curtain” had fallen across Eastern Europe, signaling a definitive end to cooperation between the Soviet Union and its Western allies, and the beginning of the Cold War.


The Yalta Conference 1945. Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State.
Terry Charman, “How Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin Planned to End the Second World War.” Imperial War Museums, January 12, 2018.
The End of World War II and the Division of Europe. Center for European Studies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Planning the Way Ahead for Germany

When the German question came to discussion the conference attendees agreed to divide it, as well as the city of Berlin into three parts, one for each of the Allies. Roosevelt and Churchill wanted to create a fourth zone for France, but Stalin argue that he would agree to it, if the territory for it would be taken from British and American zones. After that issue had been settled they agreed that Germany would have to be demilitarized and de-nazified.

Yalta Conference

The Yalta Conference of February 1945 took place in the Crimea. Yalta is an ancient city on the shores of the Black Sea. This war conference is where the Big Three, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin issued the Yalta Agreement, their "Declaration on Liberated Europe." The conference at Yalta attempted to deal with the fate of postwar Europe, specifically the borders of Poland where the war began six years before, and the fate of Japan, whose ongoing tenacity kept America at war after the fall of Germany. Another perplexing problem, the partitioning of Germany and Berlin, was a major issue on the table. Of great importance to FDR was the creation of the United Nations. The decisions made at Yalta literally defined much of the modern world, politically, militarily and economically, and heralded the Cold War.

On September 11, 1939, just a few days after Hitler triggered the Second World War by unleashing the German Army in Poland, U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt penned a brief but important message to Britain`s First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. FDR wrote to Churchill because he was looking for information about the war in Europe and wanted to to gather it informally, quietly, and on a personal level. This was the beginning of a unique relationship between the two most important leaders of the Free World, and established a precedent repeated by several successive American presidents and British leaders. On May 10, 1940, the very day on which the German Army finally launched its long-anticipated attack on the Low Countries and France, Churchill became the prime minister of Great Britain.

Over the course of the war, the two men exchanged thousands of messages, telephone calls, and indirect third-party exchanges. They also met in person nine times, including the two famous meetings with Soviet premier Stalin at Teheran and Yalta, creating "Summit Diplomacy." The ninth and last meeting took place at Yalta. FDR died six weeks later.

Summit diplomacy was a new kind of international accord whose roots lay in the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, formed in 1893. At the time, the Joint Chiefs comprised the military heads of the Army and the Navy. The signing of the "Anglo-American Alliance" (December 1941), inaugurated the creation of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, a joint British and American military command with authority over all Anglo-American operations. The communication and cooperation between FDR and Churchill culminated in the creation of the Atlantic Charter, which outlined the basic framework of the future NATO and United Nations organizations.

Anglo-American Alliance. This agreement was signed about three months after the U.S. Congress declared war on Japan and set the stage for the American declaration of war on the remaining Axis countries. It was signed in Washington on February 23, 1942, by Sumner Welles, acting secretary of state, and Viscount Halifax, British ambassador. The gist of this post-Pearl Harbor agreement was Roosevelt`s public acknowledgment of America`s close ties with Britain and Churchill. Essentially a formality, the agreement notified the isolationists in Congress that America could no longer remain immune to politics and wars on distant continents.

The agreement, in part, stipulates

". whereas the President of the United States of America has determined, pursuant to the Act of Congress of March 11, 1941, that the defense of the United Kingdom against aggression is vital to the defense of the United States of America

"And whereas the United States of America has extended and is continuing to extend to the United Kingdom aid in resisting aggression

"And whereas the Governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom are mutually desirous of concluding now a preliminary agreement in regard to the provision of defense aid and in regard to certain considerations which shall be taken into account in determining such terms and conditions and the making of such an agreement has been in all respects duly authorized, and all acts, conditions and formalities which it may have been necessary to perform, fulfill or execute prior to the making of such an agreement in conformity with the laws either of the United States of America or of the United Kingdom have been performed, fulfilled or executed as required.”

Lend-Lease Act. The agreement was followed weeks later with the Lend-Lease Act, which stipulated that the president could authorize shipment of weapons, food, or equipment to any country whose struggle against the Axis assisted U.S. defense. By retooling U.S. industrial output to the demands of war, Lend-Lease virtually eliminated any semblance of American neutrality. Yalta: world-altering decisions The conference at Yalta produced decisions that were decidedly among the most important of the 20th century, perhaps of modern history. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin carved up much of the modern world and set into motion the creation of the foundation of the world`s first real world government, the United Nations. The establishment of order in Europe and the rebuilding of national economic life under the Marshall Plan were achieved by processes that enabled the liberated peoples to destroy the last vestiges of fascism and to create democratic institutions of their own choice. This is a principle of the Atlantic Charter - the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live - the restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those peoples who have been forcibly deprived of them by the aggressor nations.


Tolstoy describes the various groups of over five million Russians who had fallen into German hands. These include prisoners of war, forced laborers (Ostarbeiter), collaborators, refugees, émigrés, and anti-communists. Conditions in Germany for Soviet prisoners were appalling and their mortality rate high, making it attractive for many to join laborers, Russian auxiliary troops, or the Russian Liberation Army (ROA). The situation for Russian soldiers was complicated by the stance of the Soviet government that rejected efforts by the International Red Cross to intervene and considered anyone who had surrendered to the enemy a traitor. The Moscow conference of 1944 and the Yalta agreement laid the groundwork for the participation of the British and American governments to support the repatriation program of the Soviet government. Tolstoy was especially critical of Anthony Eden's role in trying to appease the Soviets.

In his book, Tolstoy describes the fate of various groups:

  • Russians in German service who were captured in North Africa, Italy, and France after the Normandy landing consisted usually of forced-labour contingents or, after Normandy, also of Russians fighting within the context of the German Army. The repatriation process resulted in their execution or transport to labor camps, such as Vorkuta. [1] from the Don, Kuban, and Terek, and a number of groups from the Caucasus had resisted the Soviets during the Russian Civil War, had been persecuted under Joseph Stalin, and when German troops came in 1942 hoped to be able to resume their struggle with German help. During the German retreat they moved westwards with their families and ended up at the end of the war in Carinthia and near Lienz, in Austria. Their leaders included AtamanPavlov (ru, died in 1944), Peter Krasnov, Vyacheslav Naumenko, Timofey Domanov, Sultan Kelech Ghirey, and Andrei Shkuro. These groups, estimated to number about 35,000 people, surrendered to the British in early May 1945, who handed all Cossacks and Caucasians (even if they were not Soviet citizens) to the Soviet NKVD within four weeks. Many Cossacks were executed in Judenburg and the remainder sent to the East. [2]
  • The XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps commanded by Helmuth von Pannwitz surrendered to the British near Volkermarkt, in Austria, on May 10, 1945. By the end of May, 17,702 soldiers, including their German officers, and some women and children, were handed over to the Soviet NKVD at Judenburg. [3]
  • The Russian Liberation Army found itself by the end of World War II near Prague. A part of it helped to liberate the city from the German occupation, only to fight alongside German troops days later to escape capture by the Red Army. Many, however, surrendered to the Red Army, others were hunted down, and some escaped to the Americans near Pilsen, only to be handed over to the Soviets. Vlasov, its commander, was arrested by the Americans and repatriated as well. Execution, torture, and labor camps awaited them. [4]
  • The 162nd Turkoman Division had been formed from men from the Caucasus and from Turkic land further east, and fought in Italy its main body surrendered near Padua in May 1945. They were sent to a POW camp near Taranto and shipped to Odessa. They received 20-year terms of hard labor.
  • With the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, large numbers of Russians were liberated, including POWs, Hiwis (volunteers in the Army), and slave laborers (Ostarbeiter). Those in areas under Soviet control came into Soviet possession directly. Those in areas controlled by the Western Allies were to be repatriated. By July 4, 1945, over 1.5 million Russians had been transferred by SHAEF as displaced persons (DPs) to the Soviet Occupation Zone. [5] was the final repatriation process that took place in Italy between August 14, 1946 and May 8–9, 1947. [6]

While Tolstoy primarily discusses the reaction of the British and Americans to the Soviet requests for repatriation, he also describes the actions of other governments. Repatriation programs were enacted in Belgium, Finland, France, Holland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. The only country known to have resisted requests to force unwilling Russians to become repatriated was Liechtenstein. [7] He discusses reasons why governments were willing participants in the repatriation program, even when it was obvious that many Russians did not wish to return and that the fate of repatriates was death, torture, or forced labor. One issue for Western Allies was reciprocity, namely concern for their prisoners who had fallen into Soviet hands. While Tolstoy had access to British documents that were opened 30 years after World War II, he indicates Soviet documents remained sealed. Generally, on their side, agents from NKVD or SMERSH conducted the handling of the repatriates. Tolstoy, however, also obtained information from survivors and defectors. According to his estimate, based on data of a former NKVD officer, a total of 5.5 million Russians were repatriated from formerly occupied areas of these 20% either received a death sentence or a 25-year labor camp sentence, 15–20% received sentences of 5 to 10 years, 10% were exiled for 6 years or more, 15% worked as conscripts in assigned areas and not allowed to return home subsequently, and 15–20% were allowed to return home but remained ostracized. [8] The remainder was "wastage", that is people who died in transit, got lost, or escaped.

Tolstoy estimates that overall, two or more million Soviet nationals were repatriated. [9] Repatriation efforts were most ardently followed by the British, while American forces were conciliatory with Soviet demands but Tolstoy noted increasing reluctance. While the Soviet government also attempted to "repatriate" people of countries it conquered in and after 1939, the Western Allies resisted returning possibly millions of people from Bessarabia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.

In the American edition that appeared after the British one, Tolstoy added a postscript that indicates some initial responses to the book and added some additional notes. Tolstoy followed his investigations with Stalin's Secret War (1981) and The Minister and the Massacres (1986). In these books, he deals more with the issue that in May 1945 British forces in Carinthia handed over emigres from Russia who were not Soviet citizens and, in the latter, chronicles also the British release of the anti-communist Slovenes and Croats to Josip Broz Tito's Yugoslav government. The last of the three books was particularly controversial, and it led to a 1989 libel suit in which Lord Aldington prevailed against Tolstoy’s charge that he was a "war criminal".

Alistair Horne, Macmillan's biographer, describes Victims of Yalta as "an honorable, and profoundly disturbing book which pulled no punches", but he was highly critical of Tolstoy's follow-up books, arguing that their increasing stridency and tendency to twist the evidence to fit a preconceived theory effectively vitiated them as serious works of history. Horne also notes that Macmillan, then 90, felt he was too old to initiate a suit to defend himself. Horne's final judgement is that fresh evidence, uncovered after the publication of Victims of Yalta, proves Tolstoy's notion of a conspiracy was not just wrong-headed, but outright wrong. [10]

Yalta Conference of 1945

(Crimean Conference), a conference of the heads of government of the three Allied powers during World War II: J. V. Stalin, chairman of the Council of People&rsquos Commissars of the USSR F. D. Roosevelt, president of the USA and W. Churchill, prime minister of Great Britain. Also participating were the foreign ministers, the chiefs of staff, and other advisers.

The conference was held in Yalta from February 4 to February 11, at a period when the Soviet Army had fought its way into German territory and the war had entered its final stage. At the Yalta Conference the military plans of the great powers were coordinated to bring about the utter defeat of Nazi Germany the relationship of the powers toward Germany after its unconditional surrender was defined, and the basic policy principles concerning the postwar organization of the world were set forth.

It was decided that, after German armed resistance had been completely crushed, the armed forces of the USSR, USA, and Great Britain would occupy Germany moreover, the forces of each of the powers would occupy a certain part (zone) of Germany. A coordinated Allied administration was to be set up in Germany, and control supervision was to be established, to be carried out by a specially created control body consisting of the chief commanders of the three powers, with headquarters in Berlin. Moreover, it was agreed that France would be invited to take charge of an occupation zone and to be the fourth member of the control body. The specific regulation of the question of occupation zones in Germany had already been agreed upon prior to the Yalta Conference, at a meeting of the European Advisory Commission, and recorded on Sept. 12, 1944, in protocol agreements between the governments of the USSR, the USA, and the United Kingdom concerning the zones of the occupation of Germany and the administration of &ldquoGreater Berlin.&rdquo

The participants of the Yalta Conference declared that their firm goal was the annihilation of German militarism and Nazism as well as the establishment of a guarantee that &ldquoGermany would never again be able to destroy the peace of the world.&rdquo They pledged to &ldquodisarm and disband all the German armed forces break up for all time the German general staff,&rdquo to &ldquoremove or destroy all German military equipment, to eliminate or control all German industry that could be used for military production, and to bring all war criminals to a just and swift punishment and to wipe from the face of the earth the Nazi Party, Nazi laws, organizations, and institutions, remove all Nazi and militarist influences from public office and from the cultural and economic life of the German people.&rdquo

The communiqué of the Yalta Conference emphasized that after Nazism and militarism had been rooted out, the German people could occupy a worthy place in the community of nations. Opinions were exchanged on the question of reparations payments from Germany.

The Yalta Conference adopted a resolution on the question of creating a general international organization. The conference participants decided that on Apr. 25, 1945, in San Francisco (USA), a conference would be convoked to prepare the final text of the United Nations Charter. It was stipulated that the basis of the UN&rsquos activity in resolving cardinal questions of preserving peace would be the fundamental principle of unanimity among the great powers&mdashthe permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The Yalta Conference adopted the Declaration on Liberated Europe, in which the Allied powers stated their intention of coordinating their actions in resolving the political and economic problems of liberated Europe. The declaration stated: &ldquoThe establishment of order in Europe and the rebuilding of national economic life must be achieved by processes which will enable the liberated peoples to destroy the last vestiges of Nazism and Fascism and to create democratic institutions of their own choice.&rdquo

With regard to the Polish question, the communiqué of the Yalta Conference expressed the &ldquocommon desire to see the establishment of a strong, free, independent, and democratic Poland.&rdquo Agreement was reached on creating a broad-based Polish government, including democratic leaders from Poland itself as well as Poles from abroad. It was decided that the Soviet-Polish border should extend along the Curzon Line, with variations in certain regions extending 5&ndash8 km in Poland&rsquos favor, and that Poland would acquire substantial territory in the north and west.

With regard to Yugoslavia, the Yalta Conference adopted a number of recommendations concerning the formation of a provisional united government and the creation of a temporary parliament, based on the Anti-Fascist Assembly of National Liberation.

The Yalta Conference adopted the Agreement Between the Three Great Powers on Questions of the Far East, which provided for the Soviet Union&rsquos entry into the war against Japan within two or three months after Germany&rsquos surrender and the conclusion of the war in Europe. The agreement specified that at the war&rsquos end the southern part of Sakhalin Island would be returned to the USSR along with all the islands adjacent to it and that the Kuril Islands would also be transferred to the USSR.

The Yalta Conference also considered the question of setting up permanent machinery for regular consultations among the foreign ministers of the three powers.

In the communiqué of the Yalta Conference the three Allied powers expressed their &ldquodetermination to maintain and strengthen in the peace to come that unity of purpose and action which has made victory possible and certain for the United Nations in this war.&rdquo

Many resolutions of the Yalta Conference, as well as other joint agreements made by the Allied powers during the war and at its conclusion, were not carried out during the postwar years. This was the fault of the Western powers, who incited a &ldquocold war&rdquo against the socialist countries and attempted to revive West German militarism and revanchism.

Yalta Conference

The Yalta Conference was held February 4 to 11, 1945, near the end of World War II (1939–45). British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874–1965), Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin (1878–1953), and U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945 served 1933–45) met at Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula in the Soviet Union. As leaders of the Allied powers, they gathered to discuss the political details of Germany's expected surrender and the postwar world.

The conference at Yalta marked the height of cooperation between the Allied leaders. Conflicting aims and personalities, however, strained discussions and required many compromises. The future of Germany and its occupied countries, the Soviet Union's role in the war against Japan, the boundaries of Poland, and details regarding the development of an international security organization were all important topics the leaders discussed. Many other issues went untouched at the conference.

At the time of the conference, Germany had not yet surrendered, but it was expected to do so in the coming weeks. Much of the discussion among the Allied leaders involved the demands they would place on Germany and its allies in the peace process. Stalin wanted a harsh policy that would disable Germany from making war again. He demanded that reparations, or payment of war costs to the Allies, be high. Churchill wanted to preserve a healthy economy in Germany while still disabling its war industries. Roosevelt's position was somewhere in between.

In the end, decisions about reparations were postponed and given to a committee for study. The three leaders agreed that Germany would be divided into four zones of occupation after surrender. Each of the three countries and France would be responsible for one of the zones until a new government could be established. A joint occupation policy would be defined by an Allied Control Council, also called the Four Powers, in Berlin. Other newly liberated European countries were also to have the support and help of the Allies until free elections for new governments could be held.

Whereas the German surrender seemed certain, it was not obvious that Japan would take the same step. By 1945 the Soviet Union had not yet entered the war against Japan. The three leaders established a secret agreement that the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan within two to three months after Germany's surrender. In return, the Soviet Union would be awarded certain territory gained by Japan during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5.

Stalin also had great interest in his country's neighbor, Poland. Seeking the security of a friendly government, Stalin hoped to persuade Churchill and Roosevelt to recognize the Polish Committee of National Liberation, a communist government. Both leaders, however, already acknowledged a Polish government in exile in London. With no one willing

to change allegiances, it was decided that both governments together would form a united interim government. Elections were to be held as soon as possible. Stalin proposed a shift in the boundaries of Poland whereby it would regain territory previously lost by the Soviet Union after World War I (1914–18). After much negotiation, the boundary of Poland was changed, and the Soviet Union gained territory from the eastern part of Poland. To compensate for Poland's loss, Germany would be required to move its eastern boundary to give Poland some of its territory.

The concept of an international security organization was first proposed in 1941. By 1944 the foreign ministers of the three countries had established an organizational structure known as the United Nations. During the conference, plans were made for an international conference to be held to form the United Nations. It was scheduled for San Francisco in April 1945.

Prior to formation of the United Nations, there were important issues to be discussed at Yalta. Stalin wanted each of the Soviet republics to be considered independent countries. With such status, he hoped to gain sixteen seats in the General Assembly, the general governing body of the United Nations. He also pushed for veto abilities on all matters before the Security Council, which was to have powers superior to those of the General Assembly. After much discussion, Stalin dropped his demands. Instead he agreed to send a representative to the founding meeting scheduled for San Francisco.

Yalta Conference

The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and codenamed Argonaut, held February 4–11, 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union to discuss the postwar reorganization of Germany and Europe. The three states were represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Premier Joseph Stalin, respectively. The conference was held near Yalta in Crimea, Soviet Union, within the Livadia, Yusupov, and Vorontsov Palaces.

The aim of the conference was to shape a postwar peace that represented not only a collective security order but also a plan to give self-determination to the liberated peoples of Europe. The meeting was intended mainly to discuss the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe. However, within a few years, with the Cold War dividing the continent, the conference became a subject of intense controversy.

Yalta was the second of three major wartime conferences among the Big Three. It was preceded by the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and was followed by the Potsdam Conference in July 1945. It was also preceded by a conference in Moscow in October 1944, not attended by Roosevelt, in which Churchill and Stalin had spoken of European Western and Soviet spheres of influence. [1]


Each leader came to Yalta with an agenda. Roosevelt desired Soviet military support against Japan following the defeat of Germany and Soviet participation in the United Nations, while Churchill was focused on securing free elections for Soviet-liberated countries in Eastern Europe. Counter to Churchill's desire, Stalin sought to build a Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe to protect against future threats. In addition to these long-term issues, the three powers also needed to develop a plan for governing postwar Germany.


In February 1945 President Franklin D. Roosevelt conferred with Prime Minister Churchill at Malta in the Mediterranean, with Prime Minister Churchill and Marshal Stalin at Yalta in the Crimea, and again with Churchill at Alexandria in Egypt. Since these three conferences were thus closely related chronologically, it was initially decided to include the documentation of all three conferences in the present volume. No unpublished documentation could be found, however, for the Alexandria Conference, which consisted merely of a private conversation on February 15 between Roosevelt and Churchill . Apparently no record of this conversation was made either by or for the President, and no documents were prepared for, or were produced at, the Alexandria discussion. Accordingly, the present volume is limited in fact to the conferences at Malta and Yalta. 1

The Malta Conference, which began on January 30 and lasted through February 2, consisted of a series of discussions designed primarily to coordinate American and British views on a number of important problems which were expected to come up with the Russians at Yalta a few days later. Most of the Malta discussions concerned military topics and centered around five meetings of the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff. The first four of these meetings were held at Montgomery House, in a suburb of Valletta, while the fifth, with Roosevelt and Churchill in attendance, was aboard the U. S. S. Quincy . There were also political discussions, one of which took place aboard H. M. S. Sinus , between Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. , and the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Anthony Eden , together with their principal advisers.

President Roosevelt arrived at Malta on the morning of February 2 and participated during that day in discussions ashore and aboard the [Page XII] U. S. S. Quincy with Prime Minister Churchill and with the American and British Chiefs of Staff.

Most of the American and British representatives who participated in the Malta Conference proceeded by plane on February 3 to the Crimea, where the tripartite conference with the Russians took place from February 4 to February 11. Although the officially approved name of this meeting was “The Crimea Conference”, the term “Yalta Conference” has become so widely accepted that it has been used throughout the present volume. As a matter of fact, the conference did not meet in the city of Yalta itself. The American delegation was housed in Livadia Palace about two miles southwest of Yalta on the coastal road, and it was here that a majority of the conference meetings were held. The Soviet delegation occupied the Yusupov Palace, located several miles farther west in the village of Koreiz, while the British delegation was accommodated in the Vorontsov Villa at Alupka, about two miles beyond Koreiz. Although the names “Koreiz” and “Alupka” have been retained on those few documents in this volume on which they appear, the editors have used only the word “Yalta” as the designation of the conference site wherever such indication needed to be supplied.

The editors have presented in this volume as definitive and comprehensive a coverage of the Malta and Yalta conferences as could be made at the present time. To achieve this purpose it was necessary to obtain much documentation that was never in the files of the Department of State, notably presidential and military papers.

A few papers pertinent to the Malta and Yalta conferences had been obtained by the Department of State from the White House, beginning as early as 1946. By 1950 all White House papers prepared by or for President Roosevelt had been sent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, New York. In order to facilitate the collection of source material for the present volume the Department of State in 1953 asked for the cooperation of the Roosevelt Library. The Director of this Library, with the approval of the Archivist of the United States, set up a special project to identify and microfilm for the editors of this volume all documents pertinent to these two conferences from the Roosevelt and Hopkins Papers in the custody of the Library.

Since the files of the Department of State contained very few papers on the military staff discussions at Malta and Yalta, the Department of State also obtained the assistance of the Department of Defense in locating and releasing documents from the military records of these conferences. This type of material consists of papers documenting the official position or advice of the War and Navy Departments on [Page XIII] politico-military subjects discussed at the international level, as presented by the civilian leaders of those departments and by the American Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff, together with instructions and interpretations on such subjects given to those departments by the President. In addition, a few other papers originating with or transmitted by military authorities have been included where appropriate to clarify references or to set forth information pertinent to the conferences which was given to the President or to his principal advisers. In the selection of military papers the emphasis has been placed upon those relating to subjects with significant implications for the foreign relations of the United States.

This volume, therefore, includes the relevant papers on the Malta and Yalta Conferences from the files of the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, together with some papers obtained earlier from the White House. The conference documentation as a whole is not so complete as might be desired, since records of some of the conference discussions do not exist, and since there may be papers of significance among private collections to which access has not been granted.

The editors have sought access to the private papers of individuals who attended the conferences. Certain of these persons have contributed useful comments and suggestions, and some have written memoirs which have been of great value in compiling this official record. Some papers have not become available for inclusion, among them the personal notes of Mr. James F. Byrnes , Director of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion at that time the personal papers of Mr. W. Averell Harriman , Ambassador to the Soviet Union at the time and, more particularly, the papers of Mr. Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. , who was present as Secretary of State.

Organization of the Volume

The volume is divided into three major segments. Part I contains pre-conference background material Part II presents the records of the conference at Malta Part III consists of the records of the Yalta Conference.

The inclusion of the background material comprising Part I (Chapters 1–4) was necessitated by the fact that the annual Foreign Relations volumes for the years of World War II have not yet been published. Accordingly, the editors felt obliged to include in this volume a considerable quantity of pre-conference material in order to indicate at least the general outlines of the historical setting in which the conferences at Malta and Yalta took place. Chapter 1 of this pre-conference documentation shows how the arrangements were made for holding the conferences. Chapter 2 contains correspondence, memoranda, and Briefing Book papers showing the pre-conference status of [Page XIV] United States policy on the principal subjects discussed at Malta and Yalta. For most of these subjects, the documentation presented herein goes back no further than the autumn of 1944. Obviously a full historical coverage of these subjects will have to await the appearance of the Foreign Relations volumes for the years 1941–1945. Chapter 3 comprises excerpts pertinent to those conference subjects from the so-called Record (official diary) of Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. , for the period from December 1, 1944, the day on which he took the oath of office as Secretary, to January 23, 1945, the day before he left Washington for the trip to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. (His records for the conferences themselves are not available.) Chapter 4 contains two high-level reports surveying the broad lines of Soviet policy on the eve of the conferences.

The records of the conferences themselves (Parts II and III) are organized as follows: (1) At the beginning of each conference (Chapters 5 and 7) there are presented those portions of President Roosevelt ’s Log which pertain to the days of each conference. 2 This furnishes an over-all calendar of events for the one day on which the President was in attendance at Malta and for all eight days of the conference at Yalta.

(2) Following the excerpts from the Log for each conference, there appear the minutes and related documents of Malta and Yalta respectively, arranged by meetings in chronological order (Chapters 6 and 8). The documents, regardless of their respective dates and subjects, have been placed after the minutes of the meeting to which they refer, or at which they were first discussed.

(3) For the Yalta Conference there are three additional chapters containing documents of a type not found for Malta. Chapter 9, entitled “Other Conference Documents”, contains papers which bear directly on Yalta discussions but are not closely enough related to any specific minutes to be included in Chapter 8. Chapter 10 presents literal prints of the English texts of the agreements signed at Yalta. Chapter 11 consists of such hitherto unpublished documents as could be found which were prepared by conference participants after the conference, describing factually certain of the proceedings at Yalta.

Categories of Conference Records

The records of the conferences themselves fall into three major categories: (1) minutes of international discussions in which American representatives participated with either the British or the Russians or both (2) documents which figured in the international negotiations at the conferences (3) intradelegation documentation relating to [Page XV] conference subjects. The scope of coverage in each of these categories is as follows:

(1) Minutes of International Meetings —Even with the addition of documents from the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, the official American record of the international discussions at these conferences contains some gaps. For Malta there are minutes (reproduced herein) of all the meetings of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, but on the political side there are minutes for only one of the several meetings of the Foreign Secretaries and no American minutes of the Roosevelt - Churchill talks. With respect to the Yalta conference there are minutes of all international military meetings in which the United States Chiefs of Staff participated, and these are included in this volume. No records have been found, however, of the private Roosevelt - Churchill meetings. There are minutes or notes on most of the other political discussions but these are not so complete or definitive as might be desired. On this point the late Secretary of State Stettinius wrote as follows:

“It would . . . have been better at Yalta to have had a stenographic record made of the discussions. The record then could have been distributed to and approved by each delegation and become the official record of the proceedings. There was, however, no single official record of the meetings, nor was there any stenotypist recording every word. Instead, each delegation kept its own minutes. Bridges , for instance, took notes in shorthand for the British, while Bohlen had the double task of interpreting and note taking for the United States. In addition, some members of the American delegation, at least, kept their own personal notes. Every noon at the foreign ministers’ meetings to discuss problems assigned by the three leaders, Edward Page of the American Embassy in Moscow served both as interpreter and as note taker for the American delegation. …”

“The military followed a different practice in keeping a record of their discussions. Although each of the three nations had its own representative taking notes, these three individuals cleared their versions with each other and with all the participants. In the case of the diplomatic discussions, this practice was unfortunately not followed. . ” 3

In view of this situation the editors decided to include in this volume all available minutes or notes on the international political discussions at Yalta. Thus for a majority of the political meetings at Yalta there will be found in this volume two or more accounts, generally in the form of minutes prepared by Charles E. Bohlen , Edward Page , or H. Freeman Matthews , or rough notes in abbreviated long-hand taken by Matthews or Alger Hiss .

(2) Documents Considered at International Meetings —This category comprises proposals, memoranda, and correspondence, of [Page XVI] American, British, or Russian origin, that were actually submitted or exchanged as a part of the international negotiations at the conferences. It also includes, of course, the international documents signed at Yalta. For both Malta and Yalta, documents of this type have been included for military, as well as political, subjects.

(3) Intradelegation Documentation —This type of documentation includes minutes or notes on discussions within the United States Delegation bearing directly on the subjects under negotiation at the conferences with either the British or the Russians or both. It also includes memoranda and correspondence on such subjects within the United States Delegation or between the Delegation and other officers of the United States Government. At Malta and Yalta there were frequent meetings of top civilian advisers with the Secretary of State or the President to discuss political subjects under negotiation at the conferences, but apparently no minutes of these discussions were prepared. Such notes as could be found on these discussions have been included, together with all significant intradelegation memoranda dealing with international conference subjects.

On the military side, minutes were regularly kept of the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at Malta and Yalta. Those portions of these minutes which relate to subjects under international negotiation at the conferences are included in this volume, together with such related documents as are not adequately summarized in the minutes themselves.

Only a small proportion of the total documentation published in this volume was found in the indexed Central Files of the Department of State. Documents which came from those files are indicated by a file number, in the usual style of Foreign Relations . The great majority of documents in this volume came either from unindexed files (i. e., special collections) within the Department of State or from documentary collections outside the Department. These sources are indicated by brief headnotes above each document. The files and collections so indicated are described in the following paragraphs.

a. inside the department of state

1. Bohlen Collection —This collection consists of the Yalta minutes and documents collected by Charles E. Bohlen , then Assistant to the Secretary of State, who served as interpreter for the President at Yalta. It contains all the minutes of the plenary meetings at Yalta which were prepared by Bohlen . It also includes one memorandum of conversation dictated by Averell Harriman and the minutes of the meetings of the Foreign Ministers at Yalta which were taken by Edward Page, Jr. , then Second Secretary of the American Embassy at Moscow, who served as interpreter for Secretary Stettinius . Also [Page XVII] in the collection are copies of the more important conference documents and one paper of British origin dating from Malta. The Bohlen Collection, while by no means complete, has been regarded by the Department and the White House as the nearest approach to an official American record of the Yalta Conference.

2. Hiss Collection —This collection consists of the notes and documents pertaining to Yalta which were collected by Alger Hiss , then Deputy Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs. The collection contains the original penciled notes taken by Hiss at a number of meetings at Yalta, together with a roughly chronological assortment of conference papers and United States Delegation working memoranda and notes prepared by Hiss and others at Yalta. The collection also contains one paper prepared at Malta, a few Yalta papers of British origin, and several papers prepared in the spring of 1945 which pertain to subjects discussed at Yalta. The original Hiss notes on the Yalta meetings have been printed in this publication as nearly facsimile as feasible. A number of memoranda prepared by Hiss at Yalta were not included in this particular collection but were found elsewhere in the UNA files of which this collection formed a part.

3. Matthews Files —The files accumulated in the office of H. Freeman Matthews , then Director of the Office of European Affairs. These voluminous files contain a number of Yalta papers not in other collections. They also contain the original penciled notes taken by Matthews at six plenary meetings and four Foreign Ministers’ meetings at Yalta. The Matthews notes on the plenary meetings had been transcribed by Matthews into smooth minutes and these have been reproduced in this volume. The rough notes on the Foreign Ministers’ meetings, which Matthews had not transcribed, are reproduced in this volume as nearly facsimile as feasible.

4. UNA Files —The files of the Bureau (Office) of United Nations Affairs (now the Bureau of International Organization Affairs). These files contain a voluminous collection of documents regarding the establishment of the United Nations and related subjects.

5. Executive Secretariat Files —These files provided the only copy that could be found in the Department of State of the Yalta Briefing Book.

6. L/T Files —The files of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Treaty Affairs.

7. EE Files —The files of the Office (Division) of Eastern European Affairs.

8. EUR Files—The files of the Bureau (Office) of European Affairs.

9. Moscow Embassy Files —Certain files of the American Embassy at Moscow for the period 1936–1950 which are now in the Department of State.

10. EAC Files —The files of the United States Delegation to the European Advisory Commission, now in the Department of State.

11. FEC Files —The files of the Far Eastern Commission, now in the Department of State.

b. outside the department of state

1. White House Files —From these files there was obtained a copy of the booklet containing the Log of the President’s trip to Malta and Yalta.

2. J. C. S. Files —The files of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These files provided not only Joint Chiefs of Staff material but also Combined Chiefs of Staff documentation. The approval of the British Chiefs of Staff, along with that of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, was obtained for the declassification of Combined Chiefs of Staff documentation.

3. Defense Files —The files of the Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries of War and Navy and other relevant files.

4. Treasury Files —The files of the Department of the Treasury. One pre-Yalta paper printed in this volume was obtained from these files.

5. Roosevelt Papers —The papers of President Roosevelt in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, New York. The Roosevelt Papers were particularly valuable for the heads-of-government correspondence, most of which was not in the files of the Department of State.

6. Hopkins Papers —The papers of Harry L. Hopkins , located in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, New York. A few notes written by Hopkins to the President during plenary meetings at Yalta were found. There were no other Yalta papers of a unique nature, since Hopkins was too ill at Yalta to participate fully in the conference.

In addition to the Department of State Bulletin , the two official publications listed below were found to be the most convenient sources for citations to previously published documents referred to in this volume:

  • Department of State Publication 3580 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1949). Hereafter cited as “ Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation ”.
  • Senate Document No. 123, 81st Congress, 1st Session (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1950). Hereafter cited as “ Decade ”.

The most authoritative unofficial publications containing basic data on the conferences at Malta and Yalta are the following books, [Page XIX] which were written by conference participants or from the papers of participants:

James F. Byrnes , Speaking Frankly (New York: Harper and Bros., 1947). Hereafter referred to as “ Byrnes ”.

Winston S. Churchill , Triumph and Tragedy (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1953), volume VI of the series The Second World War . Hereafter referred to as “ Churchill ”.

John R. Deane , The Strange Alliance: The Story of Our Efforts at Wartime Cooperation with Russia (New York: The Viking Press, 1947). Hereafter referred to as “ Deane ”.

Ernest J. King and Walter Muir Whitehill , Fleet Admiral King : A Naval Record (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1952). Hereafter referred to as “ King ”.

William D. Leahy , I Was There: The Personal History of the Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman , Based on His Notes and Diaries Made at the Time (New York: Whittlesey House, 1950). Hereafter referred to as “ Leahy ”.

Robert E. Sherwood , Roosevelt and Hopkins : An Intimate History (New York: Harper and Bros., 1948). Hereafter referred to as “Sherwood”.

Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. , Roosevelt and the Russians: The Yalta Conference (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1949). Hereafter referred to as “ Stettinius ”.

While much information is contained in these books that is not in the official record, it would be neither feasible nor appropriate to reproduce such material in this volume. Citations have been made to these books, however, for statements of fact which are specifically supplementary to, or at variance with, the official record as presented herein. A few other unofficial but authoritative books which touch on aspects of the pre-conference negotiations have also been cited at appropriate points in this volume.

Testimony given in congressional hearings by participants in the Malta and Yalta conferences has also been studied for factual additions to the record, and citations to such statements have been made at appropriate points in the volume.

In the documents presented in this volume the editors have corrected only obvious typographic errors. All permissible variations in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization have been retained as in the original text. The data appearing in the headings and subscriptions of the original documents (place, date, addressee, method of transmission, and classification) have been harmonized by the editors into a reasonably standard pattern in the headings as printed herein. Any substantive titles appearing on the original documents have been retained.

The classification of the document (top secret, secret, confidential, or restricted) is included in the printed heading if such information appears on the document itself. It should be noted, however, that in 1944 and 1945 many documents were not given any formal classification, [Page XX] although they were handled as if classified and were in some instances so marked subsequently. The editors have endeavored to reproduce in this volume the original classification of the document (if any), disregarding subsequent modifications thereof. In instances in which the classification was stamped rather than typed on the text copy, it is possible that this classification was applied subsequently and did not appear on the document as originally prepared.

Most of the minutes and notes presented in this volume contained lists of participants for each meeting reported on. In order to avoid the useless repetition of such lists and to harmonize differences in spelling, the editors have compiled a single list of the names of participants for each meeting of each conference. A complete list of persons mentioned in the volume will be found on pages xxv–xxxviii, with indications as to whether they were present at Malta, at Yalta, or at both places during the time of the conferences.

All telegraphic instructions of the Department of State are issued over the name of the Secretary or Acting Secretary, although in many cases the name of the Secretary or Acting Secretary is actually signed by an appropriate official of lower rank who subscribes his own initials. In the telegrams printed in this volume, such initials have been retained as a part of the signature, with a bracketed indication in each case of the identity of the signing officer. Similarly, in the case of those third-person communications which are customarily initialed rather than signed, the initials have been retained, together with a bracketed indication of the name of the initialing officer.

In accordance with the customary practice in the Foreign Relations series, a limited number of omissions are made in order (1) to avoid giving needless offense to other nationalities or individuals, (2) to protect defense information in accordance with Executive Order 10501, and (3) to condense the record, as, e. g. by eliminating items that are merely repetitious, or not germane. All deletions have been indicated by marks of ellipsis (three or seven dots) at the appropriate points in the documents as printed.

A consolidated list of abbreviations, symbols, and code names will be found immediately following this introduction. A list of papers will be found beginning on page xxxix.


During the Yalta Conference, the Western Allies had liberated all of France and Belgium and were fighting on the western border of Germany. In the east, Soviet forces were 65 km (40 mi) from Berlin, having already pushed back the Germans from Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. There was no longer a question regarding German defeat. The issue was the new shape of postwar Europe. [2] [3] [4]

The French leader General Charles de Gaulle was not invited to either the Yalta or Potsdam Conferences, a diplomatic slight that was the occasion for deep and lasting resentment. [5] De Gaulle attributed his exclusion from Yalta to the longstanding personal antagonism towards him by Roosevelt, but the Soviets had also objected to his inclusion as a full participant. However, the absence of French representation at Yalta also meant that extending an invitation for De Gaulle to attend the Potsdam Conference would have been highly problematic since he would have felt honor-bound to insist that all issues agreed at Yalta in his absence to be reopened. [6]

The initiative for calling a second "Big Three" conference had come from Roosevelt, who hoped for a meeting before the US presidential elections in November 1944 but pressed for a meeting early in 1945 at a neutral location in the Mediterranean. Malta, Cyprus and Athens were all suggested. Stalin, insisting that his doctors opposed any long trips, rejected those options. [7] He proposed instead for them meet at the Black Sea resort of Yalta in the Crimea. Stalin's fear of flying also was a contributing factor in the decision. [8] Nevertheless, Stalin formally deferred to Roosevelt as the "host" for the conference, and all plenary sessions were to be held in the US accommodation at the Livadia Palace, and Roosevelt was invariably seated centrally in the group photographs, all of which were taken by Roosevelt's official photographer.

Each of the three leaders had his own agenda for postwar Germany and liberated Europe. Roosevelt wanted Soviet support in the Pacific War against Japan, specifically for the planned invasion of Japan (Operation August Storm), as well as Soviet participation in the United Nations. Churchill pressed for free elections and democratic governments in Eastern and Central Europe, specifically Poland. Stalin demanded a Soviet sphere of political influence in Eastern and Central Europe as an essential aspect of the Soviets' national security strategy, and his position at the conference was felt by him to be so strong that he could dictate terms. According to US delegation member and future Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, "it was not a question of what we would let the Russians do, but what we could get the Russians to do." [9]

Poland was the first item on the Soviet agenda. Stalin stated, "For the Soviet government, the question of Poland was one of honor" and security because Poland had served as a historical corridor for forces attempting to invade Russia. [10] In addition, Stalin stated regarding history that "because the Russians had greatly sinned against Poland", "the Soviet government was trying to atone for those sins". [10] Stalin concluded that "Poland must be strong" and that "the Soviet Union is interested in the creation of a mighty, free and independent Poland". Accordingly, Stalin stipulated that Polish government-in-exile demands were not negotiable, and the Soviets would keep the territory of eastern Poland that they had annexed in 1939, with Poland to be compensated for that by extending its western borders at the expense of Germany. Contradicting his prior stated position, Stalin promised free elections in Poland despite the existence of a Soviet sponsored provisional government that had recently been installed by him in the Polish territories occupied by the Red Army.

Roosevelt wanted the Soviets to enter the Pacific War against Japan with the Allies, which he hoped would end the war sooner and reduce American casualties.

One Soviet precondition for a declaration of war against Japan was an American official recognition of the Mongolian independence from China (the Mongolian People's Republic had been a Soviet satellite state from its from 1924 to World War II). The Soviets also wanted the recognition of Soviet interests in the Manchurian railways and Port Arthur but not asking the Chinese to lease. Those conditions were agreed to without Chinese participation.

The Soviets wanted the return of Karafuto, which had been taken from Russia by Japan in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, and the cession of Kuril Islands by Japan, both of which were approved by Truman.

In return, Stalin pledged that the Soviet Union would enter the Pacific War three months after the defeat of Germany. Later, at Potsdam, Stalin promised Truman to respect the national unity of Korea, which would be partly occupied by Soviet troops.

Furthermore, the Soviets agreed to join the United Nations because of a secret understanding of a voting formula with a veto power for permanent members of the Security Council, which ensured that each country could block unwanted decisions. [11]

The Soviet Army had occupied Poland completely and held much of Eastern Europe with a military power three times greater than Allied forces in the West. [ citation needed ] The Declaration of Liberated Europe did little to dispel the sphere of influence agreements, which had been incorporated into armistice agreements.

All three leaders ratified the agreement of the European Advisory Commission setting the boundaries of postwar occupation zones for Germany with three zones of occupation, one for each of the three principal Allies. They also agreed to give France a zone of occupation carved out of the US and UK zones, but De Gaulle had the principle of refusing to accept that the French zone would be defined by boundaries established in his absence. He thus ordered French forces to occupy Stuttgart in addition to the lands earlier agreed upon as comprising the French occupation zone. He only withdrew when threatened with the suspension of essential American economic supplies. [12] Churchill at Yalta then argued that the French also needed to be a full member of the proposed Allied Control Council for Germany. Stalin resisted that until Roosevelt backed Churchill's position, but Stalin still remained adamant that the French should not be admitted to full membership of the Allied Reparations Commission to be established in Moscow and relented only at the Potsdam Conference.

Also, the Big Three agreed that all original governments would be restored to the invaded countries, with the exceptions of Romania and Bulgaria, where the Soviets had already liquidated most of the governments, [ clarification needed ] and Poland, whose government-in-exile was also excluded by Stalin, and that all of their civilians would be repatriated.

Declaration of Liberated Europe Edit

The Declaration of Liberated Europe was created by Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin during the Yalta Conference. It was a promise that allowed the people of Europe "to create democratic institutions of their own choice". The declaration pledged,l that "the earliest possible establishment through free elections governments responsive to the will of the people." That is similar to the statements of the Atlantic Charter for "the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live." [13]

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