Yalta Conference

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

The aim of the conference was to shape a post-war peace that represented not just a collective security order but a plan to give self-determination to the liberated peoples of post-Nazi Europe.[1]

The meeting was intended mainly to discuss the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe. However, within a few short years, with the Cold War dividing the continent, Yalta 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 President Roosevelt, in which Churchill and Stalin had carved up Europe into Western and Soviet spheres of influence.[2][3] The Potsdam Conference was to be attended by Stalin, Churchill (who was replaced halfway through by the newly elected British prime minister Clement Attlee) and Harry S. Truman, Roosevelt's successor after his death.

General Charles de Gaulle was not present at either the Yalta or Potsdam conferences; a diplomatic slight that was the occasion for deep and lasting resentment.[4] De Gaulle attributed his exclusion from Yalta to the longstanding personal antagonism towards him by Roosevelt, although the Soviet Union had also objected to his inclusion as a full participant. But 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; as he would then have felt honor-bound to insist that all issues agreed at Yalta in his absence would have had to be re-opened.[5]

Yalta Conference
Crimean Conference
Argonaut Conference
Yalta Conference (Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin) (B&W)
The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Behind them stand, from the left, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Fleet Admiral Ernest King, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, General of the Army George Marshall, Major General Laurence S. Kuter, General Aleksei Antonov, Vice Admiral Stepan Kucherov, and Admiral of the Fleet Nikolay Kuznetsov.
Host country Soviet Union
Date4–11 February 1945
Venue(s)Livadia Palace
CitiesYalta, Russian SFSR, USSR
ParticipantsSoviet Union Joseph Stalin
United Kingdom Winston Churchill
United States Franklin D. Roosevelt
FollowsTehran Conference
PrecedesPotsdam Conference


U.S. delegation at the Yalta Conference
Yalta American Delegation in Livadia Palace from left to right: Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, Maj. Gen. L. S. Kuter, Admiral E. J. King, General George C. Marshall, Ambassador Averell Harriman, Admiral William Leahy, and President F. D. Roosevelt. Livadia Palace, Crimea, Russia

By the time of the Yalta Conference, the Western forces consisting of the United Kingdom, the United States, Poland, Canada, and the governments-in-exile of France and Belgium, led by British general Bernard Montgomery and American generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley, had liberated all of France and Belgium and were advancing into Germany, leading to the Battle of the Bulge. In the east, Red Army Marshal Georgy Zhukov's forces were 65 km (40 mi) from Berlin, having already pushed back the Germans from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and most of Yugoslavia. By February, Germany only had loose control over the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Northern Italy, and Northern Yugoslavia.

The initiative for calling a second 'Big Three' conference had come from Roosevelt, initially hoping to meet before the US Presidential elections in November 1944, but subsequently pressing for a meeting early in 1945 at a 'neutral' location in the Mediterranean; Malta, Cyprus or Athens being suggested. Stalin, insisting that his doctors opposed any long trips, rejected these options.[6] He proposed instead that they meet instead at the Black Sea resort of Yalta, in the Crimea. Stalin's fear of flying also was a contributing factor in this decision.[7] Nevertheless, Stalin formally deferred to Roosevelt as the 'host' for the conference; all plenary sessions were to be held in the American accommodation at the Livadia Palace, and Roosevelt is 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 post-war Germany and liberated Europe. Roosevelt wanted Soviet support in the U.S. 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); and Stalin demanded a Soviet sphere of political influence in Eastern and Central Europe as an essential aspect of the USSR's national security strategy. Stalin's position at the conference was one which he felt was so strong that he could dictate terms. According to U.S. 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."[8]

Poland was the first item on the Soviet agenda. Stalin stated that "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.[9] 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."[9] 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: the Soviet Union would keep the territory of eastern Poland they had already annexed in 1939, and Poland was to be compensated for that by extending its western borders at the expense of Germany. Contrasting with his prior statement, Stalin promised free elections in Poland despite the Soviet sponsored provisional government recently installed by him in Polish territories occupied by the Red Army.

Roosevelt wanted the USSR to enter the Pacific War with the Allies. One Soviet precondition for a declaration of war against Japan was an American official recognition of Mongolian independence from China (the Mongolian People's Republic had already been the Soviet satellite state from its own beginnings in 1924, through World War II), and a recognition of Soviet interests in the Manchurian railways and Port Arthur (but not asking the Chinese to lease), as well as deprivation of Japanese soil (such as Sakhalin and Kuril Islands) to return to Russian custody since the Treaty of Portsmouth; these were agreed without Chinese representation, consultation or consent, with the American desire to end war early thereby reducing American casualties. Stalin agreed that the Soviet Union would enter the Pacific War three months after the defeat of Germany. Stalin pledged to Truman to keep the nationality of the Korean Peninsula intact as Soviet Union entered the war against Japan.

Livadiya Conference
A Big Three meeting room

Furthermore, the Soviets had agreed to join the United Nations, given the secret understanding of a voting formula with a veto power for permanent members of the Security Council, thus ensuring that each country could block unwanted decisions.

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

All three leaders ratified the agreement of the European Advisory Commission setting the boundaries of post-war occupation zones for Germany: three zones of occupation, one for each of the three principal Allies: The Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They also agreed to give France a zone of occupation, carved out of the US and UK zones; although De Gaulle on principle subsequently refused to accept that the French zone would be defined by boundaries established in his absence, ordering French forces to occupy Stuttgart in addition; only withdrawing when threatened with the suspension of essential American economic supplies.[10] Churchill at Yalta then argued that the French would necessarily also need to be a full member of the proposed Allied Control Council for Germany. Stalin resisted this, until eventually 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, only relenting 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; and Poland whose government-in-exile was also excluded by Stalin) and that all civilians would be repatriated.

Declaration of Liberated Europe

The Declaration of Liberated Europe is a declaration that 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, "the earliest possible establishment through free elections governments responsive to the will of the people." This is similar to the statements of the Atlantic Charter, which says, "the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live." [11].

Key points

The key points of the meeting are as follows:

  • Agreement to the priority of the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. After the war, Germany and Berlin would be split into four occupied zones.
  • Stalin agreed that France would have a fourth occupation zone in Germany, but it would have to be formed out of the American and British zones.
  • Germany would undergo demilitarization and denazification.
  • German reparations were partly to be in the form of forced labour. The forced labour was to be used to repair damage that Germany had inflicted on its victims.[12] However, laborers were also forced to harvest crops, mine uranium, and do other work. (see also Forced labor of Germans after World War II and Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union).
  • Creation of a reparation council which would be located in the Soviet Union.
  • The status of Poland was discussed. It was agreed to reorganize the communist Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland that had been installed by the Soviet Union "on a broader democratic basis."[13]
  • The Polish eastern border would follow the Curzon Line, and Poland would receive territorial compensation in the west from Germany.
  • Stalin pledged to permit free elections in Poland.
  • Roosevelt obtained a commitment by Stalin to participate in the UN.
  • Stalin requested that all of the 16 Soviet Socialist Republics would be granted UN membership. This was taken into consideration, but 14 republics were denied; Truman agreed to membership for Ukraine and Byelorussia while reserving the right, which was never exercised, to seek two more votes for the United States.[14]
  • Stalin agreed to enter the fight against the Empire of Japan "in two or three months after Germany has surrendered and the war in Europe is terminated", and that as a result, the Soviets would take possession of Southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands, the port of Dalian would be internationalized, and the Soviet lease of Port Arthur would be restored, among other concessions.[15]
  • For the bombing of Japan, agreement was reached on basing American B-29s near the mouth of the Amur River in the Komsomolsk-Nikolaevsk area (not near Vladivostock as earlier proposed), though this did not eventuate. General Antonov also said that the Red Army would take the southern half of Sakhalin Island as one of its first objectives, and American assistance in the defence of Kamchatka would be desirable.[16]
  • Nazi war criminals were to be found, and put on trial in the territories where their crimes had been committed; Nazi leaders were to be executed.
  • A "Committee on Dismemberment of Germany" was to be set up. Its purpose was to decide whether Germany was to be divided into six nations. Some examples of partition plans are shown below:
The eventual partition of Germany into Allied Occupation Zones:
  British zone
  French zone (two exclaves) and beginning in 1947, the Saar protectorate
  American zone
  Soviet zone, later the GDR
Duitslandchurchill eng
Partition plan from Winston Churchill:
  North German state
  South German state, including modern Austria and Hungary
  West German state
Duitslandchurchill eng
Duitslandroosevelt (DE)
Partition plan from Franklin D. Roosevelt:
Duitslandroosevelt (DE)
Germany Morgenthau Plan
Morgenthau Plan:
  North German state
  South German state
  Territory lost from Germany (Saarland to France, Upper Silesia to Poland, East Prussia, partitioned between Poland and the Soviet Union)
Germany Morgenthau Plan

Democratic elections

The Big Three further agreed that democracies would be established, all liberated European and former Axis satellite countries would hold free elections and that order would be restored.[17] In that regard, they promised to rebuild occupied countries by processes that will allow them "to create democratic institutions of their own choice. This is a principle of the Atlantic Charter – the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live".[17] The resulting report stated that the three would assist occupied countries to form interim government that "pledged to the earliest possible establishment through free elections of the Governments responsive to the will of the people" and to "facilitate where necessary the holding of such elections."[17]

The agreement called on signatories to "consult together on the measures necessary to discharge the joint responsibilities set forth in this declaration." During the Yalta discussions, Molotov inserted language that weakened the implication of enforcement of the declaration.[18]

Regarding Poland, the Yalta report further stated that the provisional government should "be pledged to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot."[17] The agreement could not conceal the importance of acceding to pro-Soviet short-term Lublin government control and of eliminating language calling for supervised elections.[18]

According to President Roosevelt, "if we attempt to evade the fact that we placed somewhat more emphasis on the Lublin Poles than on the other two groups from which the new government is to be drawn I feel we will expose ourselves to the charges that we are attempting to go back on the Crimea decision." Roosevelt conceded that, in the words of Admiral William D. Leahy, the language of Yalta was so vague that the Soviets would be able to "stretch it all the way from Yalta to Washington without ever technically breaking it."[19]

The final agreement stipulated that "the Provisional Government which is now functioning in Poland should therefore be reorganized on a broader democratic basis with the inclusion of democratic leaders from Poland and from Poles abroad."[17] The language of Yalta conceded predominance of the pro-Soviet Lublin Government in a provisional government, albeit a reorganized one.[18]


Poland and the Eastern Bloc

1945-02-15GerWW2BattlefrontAtlas reworked
Allied-occupied territories (red) on 15 February 1945, four days after the end of the conference
Map of Poland (1945) corr
Poland's old and new borders, 1945 – Kresy in light blue

Because of Stalin's strong promises and admission of guilt over Poland, Churchill believed that he would keep his word regarding Poland, remarking "Poor Neville Chamberlain believed he could trust Hitler. He was wrong. But I don't think I am wrong about Stalin."[20]

At that time, over 200,000 soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces in the West were serving under the high command of the British Army. Many of these men and women were originally from the Kresy region of eastern Poland including cities such as Lwów and Vilnius. They had been deported from Kresy to the eastern regions of Russia, or sent to Gulags when the USSR occupied this region of Poland in 1939. Two years later, when Churchill and Stalin formed an alliance against Hitler, the Kresy Poles were released from the Gulags in Siberia, formed the Anders Army and marched to Persia to create the II Corps (Poland) under British high command.

These Polish troops were instrumental to the Allied defeat of the Germans in North Africa[21] and Italy, and hoped to return to their homes in Kresy in an independent and democratic Poland at the end of the War. But at Yalta, Roosevelt and Churchill largely acceded to Stalin's demands to annex[22] the territory which in the Nazi-Soviet Pact he and Hitler had agreed to the Soviet Union controlling, including Kresy, and to carry out Polish population transfers (1944–1946). Consequently, they in effect agreed that tens of thousands of veteran Polish troops under British command should lose their Kresy homes to the Soviet Union. In reaction, thirty officers and men from the II Corps (Poland) committed suicide.[23]

Churchill defended his actions at Yalta in a three-day Parliamentary debate starting on February 27, which ended in a vote of confidence. During the debate many MPs criticised Churchill and expressed deep reservations about Yalta and support for Poland, with 25 drafting an amendment protesting the agreement.[23] These members included: Arthur Greenwood; Sir Archibald Southby, 1st Baronet; Sir Alec Douglas-Home; James Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 3rd Earl of Ancaster and Victor Raikes.[23] After the failure of the amendment, Henry Strauss, 1st Baron Conesford, the Member of Parliament for Norwich, resigned his seat in protest at the British treatment of Poland.[23]

When the Second World War ended, a Communist government was installed in Poland. Many Poles felt betrayed by their wartime allies. Many Polish soldiers refused to return to Poland, because of the Soviet repressions of Polish citizens (1939–1946), the Trial of the Sixteen and other executions of pro-Western Poles, particularly the former members of the AK (Armia Krajowa). The result was the Polish Resettlement Act 1947, Britain's first mass immigration law.

On March 1, Roosevelt assured Congress that "I come from the Crimea with a firm belief that we have made a start on the road to a world of peace."[24] However, the Western Powers soon realized that Stalin would not honour his promise of free elections for Poland. After receiving considerable criticism in London following Yalta regarding the atrocities committed in Poland by Soviet troops, Churchill wrote Roosevelt a desperate letter referencing the wholesale deportations and liquidations of opposition Poles by the Soviets.[24] On March 11, Roosevelt responded to Churchill, writing, "I most certainly agree that we must stand firm on a correct interpretation of the Crimean decision. You are quite correct in assuming that neither the Government nor the people of this country will support participation in a fraud or a mere whitewash of the Lublin government and the solution must be as we envisaged it in Yalta."[25]

By March 21, Roosevelt's Ambassador to the USSR Averell Harriman cabled Roosevelt that "we must come clearly to realize that the Soviet program is the establishment of totalitarianism, ending personal liberty and democracy as we know it."[26] Two days later, Roosevelt began to admit that his view of Stalin had been excessively optimistic and that "Averell is right."[26]

Four days later, on March 27, the Soviet Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) arrested 16 Polish opposition political leaders that had been invited to participate in provisional government negotiations.[26] The arrests were part of a trick employed by the NKVD, which flew the leaders to Moscow for a later show trial followed by sentencing to a gulag.[26][27] Churchill thereafter argued to Roosevelt that it was "as plain as a pike staff" that Moscow's tactics were to drag out the period for holding free elections "while the Lublin Committee consolidate their power."[26] The Polish elections, held on January 16, 1947, resulted in Poland's official transformation to a communist state by 1949.

Following Yalta, in Russia, when Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov expressed worry that the Yalta Agreement's wording might impede Stalin's plans, Stalin responded "Never mind. We'll do it our own way later."[20] While the Soviet Union had already annexed several occupied countries as (or into) Soviet Socialist Republics,[28][29][30] other countries in central and eastern Europe that it occupied were converted into Soviet-controlled satellite states, such as the People's Republic of Poland, the People's Republic of Hungary,[31] the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic,[32] the People's Republic of Romania, the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the People's Republic of Albania,[33] and later East Germany from the Soviet zone of German occupation.[34] Eventually the United States and the United Kingdom made concessions in recognizing the then Communist-dominated regions, sacrificing the substance of the Yalta Declaration, while it remained in form.[35]

Aborted enforcement plans

At some point of Spring 1945, Churchill had commissioned a contingency military enforcement operation plan (war on the Soviet Union) to obtain "square deal for Poland" (Operation Unthinkable), which resulted in a May 22 report stating unfavorable success odds.[36] The report's arguments included geostrategic issues (possible Soviet-Japanese alliance resulting in moving of Japanese troops from continent to Home Islands, threat to Iran/Iraq) and uncertainties concerning land battles in Europe.[37]

Potsdam and the atomic bomb

The Potsdam Conference was held from July to August 1945, which included the participation of Clement Attlee (who had replaced Churchill as Prime Minister)[38][39] and President Harry S Truman (representing the United States after Roosevelt's death).[40] At Potsdam, the Soviets denied claims that they were interfering in the affairs of Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.[35] The conference resulted in (1) the Potsdam Declaration regarding the surrender of Japan,[41] and (2) the Potsdam Agreement regarding the Soviet annexation of former Polish territory east of the Curzon Line, and, provisions, to be addressed in an eventual Final Treaty ending World War II, for the annexation of parts of Germany east of the Oder-Neisse line into Poland, and northern East Prussia into the Soviet Union.

Four months after the death of Roosevelt, President Truman ordered the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.


The Yalta Conference, Crimea, February 1945 TR2828

Taken by War Office official photographer, United Kingdom

See also


  1. ^ Michael M. Boll (January 13, 2015). Cold War in the Balkans: American Foreign Policy and the Emergence of Communist Bulgaria 1943–1947. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 79–. ISBN 978-0-8131-6217-1.
  2. ^ Melvyn Leffler, Cambridge History of the Cold War: Volume 1 (Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 175
  3. ^ "The Untold History of the United States," Stone, Oliver and Kuznick, Peter (Gallery Books, 2012), p. 114, citing "The Second World War Triumph and Tragedy," Churchill, Winston, 1953, pp. 227–28, and "Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties, Johnson, Paul (New York: Perennial, 2001), p. 434
  4. ^ Fenby, Jonathan (2012). The General; Charles de Gaulle and the France he saved. Skyhorse. pp. 280–90.
  5. ^ Feis, Herbert (1960). Between War and Peace; The Potsdam Conference. Princeton University Press. pp. 128–38.
  6. ^ Stephen C. Schlesinger, Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations, (Boulder: Westview Press, 2003). ISBN 0-8133-3324-5
  7. ^ Beevor, Antony (2012). The Second World War. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 709. ISBN 978-0-316-02374-0.
  8. ^ Black et al. 2000, p. 61
  9. ^ a b Berthon & Potts 2007, p. 285
  10. ^ Fenby, Jonathan (2012). The General; Charles de Gaulle and the France he saved. Skyhorse. p. 282.
  11. ^ "Soviet Satellite States". schoolshistory.org.uk.
  12. ^ Pavel Polian. Against Their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR. Central European University Press 2003 ISBN 963-9241-68-7 pp. 244–49
  13. ^ Osmańczyk, Edmund. Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements: T to Z. p. 2773. ISBN 978-0-415-93924-9.
  14. ^ "United Nations". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved September 22, 2014. Voting procedures and the veto power of permanent members of the Security Council were finalized at the Yalta Conference in 1945 when Roosevelt and Stalin agreed that the veto would not prevent discussions by the Security Council. In April 1945 the new U.S. President Truman agreed to General Assembly membership for Ukraine and Byelorussia while reserving the right, which was never exercised, to seek two more votes for the United States.
  15. ^ "Agreement Regarding Japan," Protocol Proceedings of the Crimea Conference (February 11, 1945). Online.
  16. ^ Ehrman,VI 1956, p. 216.
  17. ^ a b c d e February 11, 1945 Protocol of Proceedings of Crimea Conference, reprinted in Grenville, John Ashley Soames and Bernard Wasserstein, The Major International Treaties of the Twentieth Century: A History and Guide with Texts, Taylor and Francis, 2001 ISBN 0-415-23798-X, pp. 267–77
  18. ^ a b c Leffler, Melvyn P. (1986). "Adherence to Agreements: Yalta and the Experiences of the Early Cold War". International Security. 11 (1): 88–123. doi:10.2307/2538877. JSTOR 2538877.
  19. ^ The American People in World War II: Freedom from Fear, Part Two By David M. Kennedy p. 377
  20. ^ a b Berthon & Potts 2007, p. 289
  21. ^ "How Communism Took Over Eastern Europe After World War II". July 2010.
  22. ^ "WWII Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West. In Depth. Uneasy Allies". PBS. December 7, 1941. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  23. ^ a b c d pp. 374–83, Olson and Cloud 2003
  24. ^ a b Berthon & Potts 2007, pp. 290–94
  25. ^ Telegram, President Roosevelt to the British prime minister, Washington, 11 March 1945, in United States Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers: 1945 Volume V, Europe (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1967), pp. 509–10.
  26. ^ a b c d e Berthon & Potts 2007, pp. 296–97
  27. ^ Wettig 2008, pp. 47–48
  28. ^ Senn, Alfred Erich (2007). Lithuania 1940: revolution from above. Amsterdam; New York: Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-2225-6.
  29. ^ Roberts 2006, p. 43
  30. ^ Wettig 2008, pp. 20–21
  31. ^ Granville, Johanna (2004). The First Domino: International Decision Making during the Hungarian Crisis of 1956. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1-58544-298-0.
  32. ^ Grenville 2005, pp. 370–71
  33. ^ Cook 2001, p. 17
  34. ^ Wettig 2008, pp. 96–100
  35. ^ a b Black et al. 2000, p. 63
  36. ^ "Operation Unthinkable". Northeastern University. Archived from the original on November 16, 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2015. defined as no more than square deal for Poland
  37. ^ "Operation Unthinkable". Northeastern University. Archived from the original on November 16, 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2015. defined as no more than square deal for Poland
  38. ^ Roberts 2006, pp. 274–75
  39. ^ "Clement Richard Attlee". Archontology.org. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  40. ^ Truman 1973, p. 208
  41. ^ "Potsdam Declaration". Ndl.go.jp. July 26, 1945. Retrieved December 19, 2011.


  • Berthon, Simon; Potts, Joanna (2007), Warlords: An Extraordinary Re-creation of World War II Through the Eyes and Minds of Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, Da Capo Press, ISBN 978-0-306-81538-6
  • Black, Cyril E.; English, Robert D.; Helmreich, Jonathan E.; McAdams, James A. (2000), Rebirth: A Political History of Europe since World War II, Westview Press, ISBN 978-0-8133-3664-0
  • Grenville, John Ashley Soames (2005), A History of the World from the 20th to the 21st Century, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-28954-2
  • LaFeber, Walter (1972), America, Russia, and the Cold War, John Wiley and Sons, ISBN 978-0-471-51137-3
  • Miscamble, Wilson D. (2007), From Roosevelt to Truman: Potsdam, Hiroshima, and the Cold War, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-86244-8
  • Roberts, Geoffrey (2006), Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-11204-7
  • Truman, Margaret (1973), Harry S. Truman, William Morrow & Co., ISBN 978-0-688-00005-9
  • Wettig, Gerhard (2008), Stalin and the Cold War in Europe, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-0-7425-5542-6
  • Kennedy, David M. (2003), The American People in World War II Freedom from Fear, Part Two, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-516893-8

Further reading

  • Ehrman, John (1956). Grand Strategy Volume VI, October 1944-August 1945. London: HMSO (British official history). pp. 96–111.
  • Fraser J. Harbutt, Yalta 1945: Europe and America at the Crossroads (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008).
  • Roberts, Geoffrey. "Stalin at the Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam conferences." Journal of Cold War Studies 9.4 (2007): 6–40. online
  • Persico E. Joseph Roosevelt's Secret War. New York: Random House, 2001.
  • Plokhii, Serhii (2010). Yalta: The Price of Peace. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-670-02141-3.
  • Shevchenko O. Yalta-45: Ukrainian science historiographic realia in globalization and universalism era
  • Susan Butler, “Roosevelt and Stalin,” Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2015, excerpts quoted from pages 95-96.

External links

Coordinates: 44°28′04″N 34°08′36″E / 44.46778°N 34.14333°E


Boizenburg is a municipality in the Ludwigslust-Parchim district in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the Elbe, 53 km west of Ludwigslust, 25 km northeast of Lüneburg and 50 km east of Hamburg. It is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Boizenburg's historical old town stretches along the Elbe, has a harbour and offers heritage baroque timberframe and brick buildings.

As per the dictates of the Yalta Conference, Boizenburg was placed just a few kilometers behind the perimeter of the Iron Curtain, otherwise known as the 'Inner German Border'.

Curzon Line

The history of the Curzon Line, with minor variations, goes back to the period following World War I. It was drawn for the first time by the Supreme War Council as the demarcation line between the newly emerging states, the Second Polish Republic and the Soviet Union. The proposal was put forward by British Foreign Secretary George Curzon, to serve as a diplomatic basis for the future border agreement, and in that form, it never materialized because the war went on.The line became a major geopolitical factor during World War II, when Joseph Stalin invaded eastern Poland and split its territory along the Curzon Line with Adolf Hitler. The Western powers entered into negotiations with the Soviet Union following Operation Barbarossa. Throughout the war until the Tehran Conference, the Allies did not agree that Poland's future eastern border should be kept at the same Curzon Line drawn in 1939; but Churchill's position changed after the Soviet victory at the Battle of Kursk.Following a private agreement at the Tehran Conference, confirmed at the 1945 Yalta Conference, the Allied leaders Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Stalin issued a statement affirming the use of the Curzon Line, with some five-to-eight kilometre variations, as the eastern border between Poland and the Soviet Union. When Churchill proposed to add parts of East Galicia, including the city of Lviv, to Poland's territory (following Line B), Stalin argued that the Soviet Union could not demand less territory for itself than the British Government had reconfirmed previously several times. The Allied arrangement involved compensation for this loss via the incorporation of formerly German areas (the so-called Recovered Territories) into Poland. As a result, the current border between the countries of Belarus, Ukraine and Poland is an approximation of the Curzon Line.

Eastern Neisse

The Eastern Neisse, also known by its Polish name of Nysa Kłodzka (German: Glatzer Neiße, Czech: Kladská Nisa), is a river in southwestern Poland, a left tributary of the Oder, with a length of 188 km (21st longest) and a basin area of 4,570 km² (3,742 in Poland).Prior to World War II it was part of Germany. During the Yalta Conference it was discussed by the Western Allies as one possible line of the western Polish border. Attempts were made to negotiate a compromise with the Soviets on the new Polish-German frontier; it was suggested that the Eastern Neisse be made the line of demarcation. This would have meant that (East) Germany could have retained approximately half of Silesia, including most of Wrocław (formerly Breslau). However the Soviets rejected the suggestion at the Potsdam Conference and insisted that the southern boundary between Germany and Poland be drawn further west, at the Lusatian Neisse.


Koreiz (Ukrainian: Кореїз, Russian: Кореиз, Crimean Tatar: Koreiz) is an urban-type settlement lying south-west of Yalta in the Yalta Municipality of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, a territory recognized by a majority of countries as part of Ukraine and incorporated by Russia as the Republic of Crimea. The name of the town means "villages" in Greek. Koreiz absorbed the nearby spa of Miskhor in 1958. Population: 5,455 (2014 Census).Koreiz has arguably become best known as the site of two palaces:

The palace of Grand Duke Peter Nicolaievich of Russia, known as Dulber (dülber in Crimean Tatar means "beautiful"), is an asymmetrical Moorish Revival architectural extravanganza with crenellated walls, silver domes, and more than 100 rooms, inspired by the Mameluk architecture of 15th-century Cairo. This palace was built between 1895 and 1897.

Nikolai Petrovich Krasnov , an architect who worked on the imperial Livadia Palace in nearby Yalta, built the Yusupov Palace for Prince Felix Yusupov in 1909. The palace, whose style may be described as Renaissance Revival and Roman Revival, boasts a romantic park with exotic plants and a wine cellar founded by Prince Lev Galitzine in the 19th century. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 the Soviet authorities nationalised the palace; it served as Joseph Stalin's favourite dacha during the 1945 Yalta Conference and at other times.

League of Nations mandate

A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League of Nations. These were of the nature of both a treaty and a constitution, which contained minority rights clauses that provided for the rights of petition and adjudication by the International Court.The mandate system was established under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, entered into force on 28 June 1919. With the dissolution of the League of Nations after World War II, it was stipulated at the Yalta Conference that the remaining Mandates should be placed under the trusteeship of the United Nations, subject to future discussions and formal agreements. Most of the remaining mandates of the League of Nations (with the exception of South-West Africa) thus eventually became United Nations Trust Territories.

Two governing principles formed the core of the Mandate System, being non-annexation of the territory and its administration as a “sacred trust of civilisation” to develop the territory for the benefit of its native people.

List of Allied World War II conferences

This is a list of World War II conferences of the Allies of World War II. Conference names in boldface indicate the conferences at which the leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union were all present. For the historical context see Diplomatic history of World War II.

In total Churchill attended 16 meetings, Roosevelt 12, Stalin 7.

For some of the major wartime conference meetings involving Roosevelt and later Truman, the code names were words which included a numeric prefix corresponding to the ordinal number of the conference in the series of such conferences. The third conference was TRIDENT, the fourth conference was QUADRANT, the sixth conference was SEXTANT, and the eighth conference was OCTAGON. The last wartime conference was code-named TERMINAL.

List of diplomatic missions during World War II

Below is a list of diplomatic missions during World War II that were undertaken by the allied forces.

Arcadia (1941) — Washington Conference between President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill

Argonaut (1945) — linked sequence of conferences

Cricket (1945) — pre-Yalta Conference at Malta between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill

Magneto (1945) — Yalta Conference between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Premier of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill

Eureka (1943) — conference between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at Tehran

Octagon (1944) — conference between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at Quebec City to discuss Morgenthau Plan

Quadrant (1943) — conference between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at Quebec City

Riviera (1941) — Franklin D. Roosevelt/Winston Churchill conference at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland

Sextant 1 (1943) — conference between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Premier of China Chiang Kai-shek at Cairo

Sextant 2 (1943) — conference between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and President of Turkey İsmet İnönü at Cairo

Symbol (1943) — conference between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and the leader of the Free French, Charles de Gaulle, at Casablanca

Terminal (1945) — conference between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee and Joseph Stalin at Potsdam

Trident (1943) — third Washington conference between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Churchill

Livadia Palace

Livadia Palace (Russian: Ливадийский дворец, Ukrainian: Лівадійський палац) was a summer retreat of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, and his family in Livadiya, Crimea. The Yalta Conference was held there in 1945, when the palace housed the apartments of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and other members of the American delegation – the Russian delegation was housed in the Yusupov Palace, and the British in the Vorontsov Palace some five miles distant. Today the palace houses a museum, but it is sometimes used for international summits.

Lwów Voivodeship

Lwów Voivodeship (Polish: Województwo lwowskie) was an administrative unit of interwar Poland (1918–1939). Because of the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in accordance with the secret Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, it became occupied by both the Wehrmacht and the Red Army in September 1939. Following the conquest of Poland however, the Polish underground administration existed there until August 1944. The Voivodeship was not returned to Poland after the war ended. It was split diagonally just east of Przemyśl; with its eastern half ceded to the Ukrainian SSR at the insistence of Joseph Stalin during the Tehran Conference confirmed (as not negotiable) at the Yalta Conference of 1945.

Malta Summit

The Malta Summit comprised a meeting between US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, taking place on December 2–3, 1989, just a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was their second meeting following a meeting that included Ronald Reagan, in New York in December 1988. During the summit, Bush and Gorbachev would declare an end to the Cold War although whether it was truly such is a matter of debate. News reports of the time referred to the Malta Summit as the most important since 1945, when British prime minister Winston Churchill, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed on a post-war plan for Europe at the Yalta Conference.

Operation Keelhaul

Operation Keelhaul was a forced repatriation of former Soviet Armed Forces POWs of Germany to the Soviet Union, carried out in Northern Italy by British and American forces between 14 August 1946 and 9 May 1947.

Peace of Riga

The Peace of Riga, also known as the Treaty of Riga (Polish: Traktat Ryski), was signed in Riga on 18 March 1921, between Poland, Soviet Russia (acting also on behalf of Soviet Belarus) and Soviet Ukraine. The treaty ended the Polish–Soviet War.The Soviet-Polish borders established by the treaty remained in force until World War II. They were later redrawn during the Yalta Conference and Potsdam Conference.

Potsdam Conference

The Potsdam Conference (German: Potsdamer Konferenz) was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. (In some older documents, it is also referred to as the Berlin Conference of the Three Heads of Government of the USSR, USA, and UK.) The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented respectively by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.

Stalin, Churchill, and Truman gathered to decide how to administer Germany, which had agreed to unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier on 8 May (Victory in Europe Day). The goals of the conference also included the establishment of postwar order, peace treaty issues, and countering the effects of the war.

Territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II

The territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II were very extensive, the Oder–Neisse line became Poland's western border and the Curzon Line its eastern border. In 1945, after the defeat of Nazi Germany, Poland's borders were redrawn in accordance with the decisions made first by the Allies at the Tehran Conference of 1943 where the Soviet Union demanded the recognition of the military outcome of the top secret Nazi–Soviet Pact of 1939 of which the West was unaware.

The same Soviet stance was repeated by Joseph Stalin again at the Yalta Conference with Roosevelt and Churchill in February 1945, but a lot more forcefully in the face of the looming German defeat. The new borders were ratified at the Potsdam Conference of August 1945 exactly as proposed by Stalin who already controlled the whole of East-Central Europe. Harry Truman remembered:

I remember at Potsdam, we got to discussing a matter in eastern Poland, and it was remarked by the Prime Minister of Great Britain that the Pope would not be happy over the arrangement of that Catholic end of Poland. And the Generalissimo, the Prime Minister of Russia leaned on the table, and he pulled his mustache like that, and looked over to Mr. Churchill and said: Mr. Churchill, Mr. Prime Minister, how many divisions did you say the Pope had?

Poland lost large territories to the Soviet Union (today those areas are located in Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine). Poland was instead given the Free State of Danzig and the German areas east of the rivers Oder and Neisse. The ethnic cleansing of both Polish and Germans 1945-46 included many millions of people. The Polish territory 1919-1939 covered an area of 386,418 square kilometres (149,197 square miles). But from 1947, Poland's territory was reduced to 312,679 square kilometres (120,726 square miles), so the country lost 73,739 square kilometres (28,471 square miles) of land. This difference amounts almost to the size of the Czech Republic, although Poland ended up with a much longer coastline on the Baltic Sea compared to its 1939 borders.

Thunderclap plan

In August 1944 plans were drawn for an operation code named Thunderclap, but it was shelved and never implemented. The plan envisaged a massive attack on Berlin that would cause 220,000 casualties with 110,000 killed, many of them key German personnel, which would shatter German morale. However on consideration it was decided that it was unlikely to work.The plan was reconsidered in early 1945, to be implemented in coordination with a Soviet advance, but was again rejected as impractical, and instead a number of coordinated smaller attacks against cities in the communications zone of the Eastern Front through which key routes to the east converged, were chosen. The cities designated as choke points where the bombing would be most effective were Berlin, Dresden, Chemnitz and Leipzig. Intensive bombing of these targets was carried out with the intention of disrupting the rear areas of the German Eastern Front lines, to aid the Soviet advance, as had been requested by the Soviets at the Yalta Conference. These raids were large ones but less massive than those proposed in the original Thunderclap plan.

Thurloe Square

Thurloe Square is a traditional garden square in South Kensington, London, England.

There are private communal gardens in the centre of the square for use by the local residents. The Victoria and Albert Museum is close by to the north across Thurloe Place and Cromwell Gardens. The nearest tube station is South Kensington to the west along Thurloe Street.

The square (and the adjacent streets) are named after John Thurloe, an advisor of Oliver Cromwell, who owned the land in the 17th century. His descendant, Harris Brace, had a godson called John Alexander, who developed the area in the 1820s. George Basevi designed most of the houses.Sir Henry Cole (1808–1892), the first director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, lived at 33 Thurloe Square just opposite the museum. The building is marked with a blue plaque and is now the Kazakhstan Embassy.

The homeopath Margery Blackie lived and practised at no. 18 from 1929-1980. The building is marked with a blue plaque.The Yalta Memorial Garden which contains a memorial to those repatriated as a result of the Yalta Conference following World War II, Twelve Responses to Tragedy, is situated at the north of the square between the square and the Cromwell Road.

Twelve Responses to Tragedy

Twelve Responses to Tragedy, or the Yalta Memorial, is a memorial located in the Yalta Memorial Garden on Cromwell Road in South Kensington in west London. The memorial commemorates people displaced as a result of the Yalta Conference at the conclusion of the Second World War. Created by the British sculptor Angela Conner, the work consists of twelve bronze busts atop a stone base. The memorial was dedicated in 1986 to replace a previous memorial (also by Conner) from 1982 that had been repeatedly damaged by vandalism.

USS Pinnacle (AM-274)

USS Pinnacle (AM-274) was an Admirable class minesweeper of the US Navy during World War II. She was laid down by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Alabama, 1 February 1943 launched 11 September 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Francis W. Osborn; and commissioned 24 May 1944; Lt. Joseph B. Willams in command.

Yusupov Palace (Crimea)

The Yusupov Palace (Ukrainian: Юсуповський палац; Russian: Юсуповский дворец) is a palace located in the town of Koreiz, near Yalta in Crimea. It was built for Prince Felix Yusupov-Soumorokov-Elston, father of Prince Felix Yusupov (1887–1967) in 1909 by Nikolay Krasnov, the architect responsible for the imperial Livadia Palace in nearby Yalta. The palace, whose style may be described as Renaissance Revival and Roman Revival, boasts a romantic park with exotic plants and a wine cellar founded by Prince Lev Galitzine in the 19th century.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the palace was nationalized and served as Joseph Stalin's favorite dacha during the Yalta Conference and at other times.

From 1991 to March 2014 Yusupov Palace was owned by the President of Ukraine. On 21 October 2014, The Council of Ministers of Crimea decided to transfer to use for the president of Russia.

After the Annexation of Crimea to Russia in March 2014, the Yusupov Palace became a special complex for the administration of affairs of the President of the Russian Federation.

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