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The Yalta Conference



The conference at Yalta held in the Crimea on February 4-11, 1945 brought together the Big Three Allied leaders.  During this conference, Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt discussed Europe's postwar reorganization. The main purpose of Yalta was the re-establishment of the nations conquered and destroyed by Germany.  


Organizing the occupation of Germany was one of the top priorities.   The Yalta Conference agreed to divide Germany into zones controlled by each of the three nations present. With the immense size of Stalin's army, Russia would take Berlin and control the eastern half of Germany upon its surrender.  Great Britain suggested France as one of the occupiers.  Initially, Stalin resisted but eventually accepted this idea.  Poland was given back its independence and given its own national election in order to create a new, independent government. Yugoslavia was given its own government as well which consisted of mostly old members under a new system. In both cases, Nazi and Fascist leaders were specifically prohibited. 

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The Soviets reaffirmed their intention to fight Japan and in return expected to occupy areas in the East. The secret Yalta agreement was signed on February 11, 1945 by Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin in which Russia agreed to declare war on Japan "in two or three months" after the surrender of Germany, in return for: (1) Preservation of the status quo in Outer Mongolia, (2) return of Southern Sakhalin and adjacent islands, internationalization of Dairen, restoration of Port Arthur as a leased naval base, joint Chinese-Russian operation of the Chinese Eastern Railroad and the South Manchurian Railroad, which provides an outlet for Dairen ("China shall maintain full sovereignty in Manchuria"); (3) Kurile Islands to be "handed over" to Russia.  In this agreement, the United States and Britain also agreed to support Ukraine and White Russia as separate states in the UN.  Moreover, the United States, Britain and Russia gave themselves "supreme authority" to take any steps deemed necessary to prevent future German aggression, including "dismemberment" of Germany.



Image from: Brooklyn College Core Curriculum: Shaping the Modern World.  Paul Halsall, editor.



Edited by: Kirstin Eilers
Researched by: Michael Solis and Yelena Raskina
Written by: Sara Abraham
March 26, 2000

Text copyright 1996-2020 by ThenAgain. All rights reserved.


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