On Aug. 2, 1945, leaders of the U.S., the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union concluded a historic meeting in Potsdam, Germany, a series of events that would forever change the world in the aftermath of its bloodiest conflict.
This year, the Potsdam Conference is marking its 75th anniversary, commemorating the event in which new U.S. President Harry Truman met Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Also attending the conference was Clement Attlee, who was voted in as UK prime minister during the conference despite Churchill’s valiant leadership of the island kingdom during World War II.
The men met to discuss the future of Germany at the end of the war. The meeting began July 17 and ended Aug. 2 with the “Communiqué on the Three Power Conference of Berlin,” later known as the “Potsdam Agreement.”
The subsequent division of Germany would trigger a beginning to the Cold War at the same time the Pacific War was ending with the detonation of two atomic bombs in Japan. The decisions and agreements made in Potsdam continue to influence world politics.