Potsdam Agreement

The Potsdam Agreement contains the details of the tripartite military occupation and reconstruction of Germany and the European Theatre following World War II. It was signed on this day in history in 1945. Shortly after midnight on 2 August 1945, the representatives of the three victorious WWII Allies, Clement Attlee (Great Britain), Harry S. Truman (United States), and Joseph Stalin (USSR) signed the Potsdam Agreement at Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam. The castle is located about 16 miles southwest of Berlin.

Potsdam Conference

The Big Three:
Clement Attlee, Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin

Relative to Germany, the Potsdam Agreement addressed mainly the “5D’s”: Denazification, Demilitarization, Democratization, Decentralization, and Disassemblement.
– DENAZIFICATION – eradication of the National Socialist Party and Nazi institutions to eliminate all Nazi influence. War criminals to be brought to swift justice.
– DEMILITARIZATION – disarmament and demilitarization of Germany and the elimination of all German industries that could be used for military production.
– DEMOCRATIZATION – formation of political parties and trade unions, freedom of speech, press, and religion.
– DECENRALIZATION – elimination of a concentration of powers by decentralizing the political structure.
– DISMANTLING – Reduction or destruction of all civilian heavy-industry with war-potential, such as shipbuilding, machine production, and chemical factories. Restructuring of German economy towards agriculture and light-industry. It was further agreed that reparations to the USSR should come from the Soviet zone of Germany; reparations to the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries to come from the Western Zones. In addition, it was agreed that the USSR would be entitled to 10% of the industrial capacity (industrial capital equipment and industries) of the western zones. Dismantling was stopped in West Germany in 1951. In East Germany disassemblement continued.

The Potsdam Agreement was superseded by the “Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany”, which was signed on 12 September 1990, following reunification.

For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of http://www.walled-in-berlin.com. Walled-In is a story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.

 

 

 

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