On 14 November 1944, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Soviet Union sign an agreement in London amending the Protocol of 12 September 1944 on the Allied zones of occupation and administration in Germany.
On 26 July 1945, in London, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union and the French Provisional Government sign an agreement introducing amendments to the Protocol of 12 September 1944 on the occupation of Germany and the administration of Greater Berlin.
Main entrance of the Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, where the Conference of the ‘Big Three’ leaders of the United States (Harry S. Truman), the United Kingdom (Winston Churchill, succeeded by Clement Attlee) and the Soviet Union (Joseph Stalin) was held with a view, in particular, to determine the fate of a defeated Germany.
The Potsdam Conference opens on 17 July 1945. American President Harry S. Truman takes over from Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died on 12 April that year; and, on 28 July, Clement Attlee, victorious in the recent British general elections, replaces Winston Churchill.
Winston Churchill was defeated in the general elections held on 26 July 1945 and stepped down as leader of the British Government. Labour MP Clement Attlee replaced him and, two days later, continued the discussions with the United States and the Soviet Union in Potsdam on the future of Germany.
On 4 August 1945, the day after the Potsdam Conference, the Dutch daily newspaper Het Parool outlines the principal measures taken against Germany and outlines the establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers.
In his memoirs, James F. Byrnes, former US Secretary of State, recalls the difficult negotiations with the Soviet Union on the subject of German reparations during the Potsdam Conference from 17 July 1945 to 2 August 1945.
Dans ses Mémoires, l'ancien président américain Harry S. Truman livre ses impressions sur la menace d'expansion soviétique au lendemain de la Seconde Guerre mondiale telle qu'il l'a ressentie au lendemain de la Conférence de Potsdam.
At the Potsdam Conference, held from 17 July to 2 August 1945, the first signs of tension between the USSR and the United States become apparent, particularly during negotiations on the occupation of defeated Germany.
On 30 August 1945, in Berlin, US General Dwight D. Eisenhower, British General Sir Brian Hubert Robertson, French General Louis Koeltz and Soviet Marshal Georgi Zhukov sign the act establishing the Allied Control Council, which thereby assumes supreme authority over defeated Germany.
At its conference held in London from 10 September to 2 October 1945, the Allied Control Council adopts a series of measures on the future of Germany and on the occupation zones to be introduced there.
On 25 June 1948, the Luxembourg daily newspaper Luxemburger Wort reports on a meeting in Warsaw between the Foreign Ministers of the Soviet Union and of the countries of Eastern Europe, during which decisions concerning the future of defeated Germany, taken on 1 June 1948 in London by the Western Allies, are harshly criticised.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Luxembourg daily newspaper Luxemburger Wort warns its readers of the risk of a resurgence of Nazi ideology and of the threat of Germany’s thirst for power in years to come.
On 5 June 1945, in Berlin, Dwight D. Eisenhower, US General; Georgy Zhukov, Soviet Marshal, Bernard Law Montgomery, British Field Marshal, and Jean-Marie Gabriel de Lattre de Tassigny, French General, adopt a common declaration which lays down the procedure for the disarmament of the German Army.
In this note, Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgian Foreign Minister, informs Émile de Cartier de Marchienne, Belgian Ambassador to London, of the principles and the conditions relating to Belgium’s participation in the Allied military occupation of Germany.
On 1 August 1946, British cartoonist David Low illustrates the desire of the United States and the United Kingdom to merge their respective occupation zones in Germany and portrays Moscow’s opposition to the plan.
‘Two’s company, but four would be better’. On 2 August 1946, the German daily newspaper Die Welt illustrates Moscow’s displeasure at the prospect of Britain and America merging their occupation zones in Germany on 1 January 1947.
On 3 December 1946, James F. Byrnes, US Secretary of State, and Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary, jointly announce the merger of the American and British occupation zones in Germany with effect from 1 January 1947.
On 12 May 1947, Albert Wehrer, Head of the Luxembourg military mission to the Allied Control Council in Berlin, describes to Joseph Bech, Luxembourg Foreign Minister, the military situation in Germany following the merger of the American and British occupation zones.
‘The four Great Powers and the German goldfish.' In September 1948, German cartoonist Roland Stigulinszky takes an ironic look at the fate that the four occupying powers (the United Kingdom, France, the United States and the Soviet Union) have in store for defeated Germany. Looking at the ‘German’ goldfish in his bowl, the British soldier comments: ‘That’s right, it’s really thin!’ Clutching his finger, the French soldier exclaims: ‘Sacré nom d’un chien, it bit me!’ The American GI observes: ‘Very nice indeed! (and puts it out to dry)’, while the Soviet soldier smiles and says: ‘Carracho, verry niice!’ and swallows the fish.
‘...placed under the tutelage of France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. "As you can see, it seems that we have not really gained any ground."' For Opland, Dutch cartoonist, the Cold War makes any rapid solution to the problem of the partitioning of Germany difficult.
In his memoirs, Georges Bidault, former French Foreign Minister, outlines the nature of the ‘German problem’ from an international point of view at the end of the Second World War and strongly criticises the way that Germany perceives General de Gaulle.
In this interview, Edmund Wellenstein, official in the Private Office of the Queen of the Netherlands from 1947 to 1950 then Head of the ‘Germany’ Division and Director-General for European Affairs in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 1950 and 1952, explains the reasons for the Netherlands’ interest in the arrangements for the reconstruction of Germany after the Second World War.
The Paris Conference on Germany (25 April to 12 July 1946)
On 25 April 1946, at the Paris Peace Conference on Germany, the French delegation submits to the Council of Foreign Ministers a memorandum on the separation and reorganisation of control of the territories of the Rhineland, the Ruhr and the Saar.
The Paris Conference on Germany (25 April to 12 July 1946)
On 10 July 1946, during the Paris Peace Conference attended by the Council of Foreign Ministers, the French representative, Georges Bidault, outlines France's position on the terms for the occupation of Germany.
On 10 July 1946, during the Paris meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Soviet representative, Viacheslav Molotov, sets out Moscow's stance on Germany's political, economic and military future.
The conferences of the Council of foreign ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union were held in Paris from April to July 1946. During the talks, it became clear that the Soviet Union had its own ambitions for its occupied zone of Germany.
On 9 November 1945, an international conference opened in Paris involving all the States that had been at war with Germany. The purpose of the conference was to determine the amount of reparations payable by Germany following the Second World War.
On 25 August 1945, following his journey to Moscow, Edwin W. Pauley, head of the American delegation to the Allied Commission on Reparations, gives details of the main measures relating to payments of war reparations by Germany.
On 17 December 1947, commenting on the failure of the Four-Power Conference in London, the French daily newspaper Le Monde analyses the causes of the disagreement dividing France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States on the question of German reparations.
‘Dismantling: “Don’t worry — we shall take out only the dangerous tooth!”’ In 1949, the cartoonist, Mirko Szewczuk, illustrates the repercussions for Germany of the dismantling of its industrial infrastructure by the Allies.
Dans ses Mémoires, Harry S. Truman, ancien président des États-Unis, évoque la situation de l'Allemagne en 1945 et décrit les tensions entre les Alliés occidentaux et les Soviétiques à propos des réparations de guerre.
On 1 November 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt, US President, Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, and Joseph Stalin, Soviet leader, issue a joint declaration denouncing the war crimes perpetrated by the Nazis.
At the end of the Second World War, the Allies set up the International Military Tribunal in order to try the leaders and organisations of Nazi Germany accused of war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity.
On 18 October 1945, the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg accuses 24 German political, military and economic leaders of conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
On 21 November 1945, in his opening address, the American Robert H. Jackson, Public Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial, recalls the historic importance of the trial of Nazi war criminals and lists the charges in detail.
General view of the courtroom at the Nuremberg trial on 30 September 1946, on the eve of the verdict handed down by the International Military Tribunal. In the dock, in the first row, the photo shows (from left to right): Hermann Göring, Rudolf Heß, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Walter Funk and Hjalmar Schacht. In the second row: Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Franz von Papen, Arthur Seyß-Inquart, Albert Speer, Konstantin von Neurath and Hans Fritsche.
On 1 October 1946, the International Military Tribunal, meeting in Nuremberg, delivers its verdict. Of the 22 leaders of Nazi Germany accused of conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity, 12 are sentenced to death, 7 receive prison sentences and 3 are acquitted.
On 2 October 1946, the day before the Nuremberg verdict is announced, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro looks at the moral and historical aspect of the trial relating to war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity.
On 2 October 1946, the Italian daily newspaper Il nuovo Corriere della Sera recounts the events of 1 October 1946 when 12 former high-ranking Nazis were sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.
Twenty-five years after sentences were handed down at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, the French newspaper Le Monde looks back on the unfolding of the trial at which the main leaders of the Nazi regime were judged.