Potsdam Conference Protocols

(1945)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

The protocols first indicate that a council of foreign ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, and France would be formed; the last two nations would be invited to participate by the first three. The first, most pressing obligation of the council would be to draw up peace treaties with Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Italy, and Rumania as well as a treaty to be signed later by the German government.

The Potsdam Conference Protocols then turn to the issue of the treatment of Germany. The protocols confirm the arrangement made at Yalta, stating that the militaries of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and France would have control over their respective zones of occupation in Germany. All vestiges of German militarism and Nazism would be dismantled “in such manner as permanently to prevent the revival or reorganization of German militarism and Nazism.” All...

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Clement Attlee, Harry Truman, and Joseph Stalin at Potsdam (Library of Congress)

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