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Table of Contents
Held near Berlin July 17- August 2, 1945, the Potsdam Conference was the last of the World War II meetings held by the “Big Three” heads of state.
See the fact file below for more information on the Potsdam Conference or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Potsdam Conference worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
WORLD WAR II
- Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, sparked the world’s second global conflict – World War II.
- The principal belligerents were the Axis powers: Germany – Adolf Hitler, Italy – Benito Mussolini, and Japan – Emperor Hirohito.
- Fighting against them were the Allied Powers: France – Charles de Gaulle, Great Britain – Winston Churchill, the United States – Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the Soviet Union – Joseph Stalin, and other supporting countries such as Canada, Australia, etc.
- The 40,000,000–50,000,000 casualties in World War II make it the bloodiest conflict and the largest war in history.
- In Europe, the war began to conclude when the allied forces repelled the Germans and Italians in two important fronts (eastern and western), then trapped the Nazi soldiers in the Battle of the Bulge and eventually invaded Germany until its surrender on May 7, 1945.
- In the Pacific, WWII ended after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The final axis country unconditionally surrendered on September 2, 1945, thus officially ending the second world war.
THE POTSDAM CONFERENCE
- When war ended in Europe, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (replaced by Prime Minister Clement Attlee), and U.S. President Harry Truman met in Potsdam, Germany.
- It was the second meeting prior to the Yalta Conference of February 1945. From July 17 to August 2, 1945 they agreed to continue the discussions in determining the postwar borders and reconstruction on the European continent.
- The major concern raised at Potsdam was determining Germany’s fate.
- The Soviet Union demanded one-half of the determined reparations against Germany.
- The U.S. however warned that the prior reparation made against Germany after WWI fueled the rise of the Nazi.
- The protocol of the conference stated “a complete disarmament and demilitarization of Germany.” It specifies:
- All aspects of German industry utilized for military purposes were to be dismantled
- German military and paramilitary forces were to be eliminated
- Production of all military hardware in Germany was forbidden
- Discriminatory Nazi laws applied in German society shall be repealed and shall benefit those people Germans deemed to be “war criminals.”
- Democratic political parties would be encouraged to participate in the educational, judicial and political administration of Germany at the local and state level. During the transition, the Allied Control Commission would run the country.
- Stalin was skeptical about democracy and was adamant in refusing to let the Allies interfere in eastern Europe since Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria were already controlled by communists.
- As per territorial disputes, Poland received German lands. They then began to deport the German residents of the territories.
- With nowhere to go, the negotiators could only request that the Poles temporarily suspend deportations of Germans.
- The Potsdam delegates then formed a Council of Foreign Ministers acting on behalf of the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China to draft peace treaties with Germany’s former allies.
- Part of its provision threatened Japan with “prompt and utter destruction” if it did not immediately surrender (the Soviet Union did not sign because it had not yet declared war against Japan).
- In the middle of the conference, the Pacific War is at its peak and conclusion. Japan rejected the Potsdam declaration, hence suffering its first atomic bomb destruction.
- President Truman casually informed Stalin of the bombing just to strengthen the U.S.’ goal to end the war and settle territorial issues as soon as possible.
- The protocols of the Potsdam Conference continued harmony among the Allies until the end of the war.
- However, conflicting aims of the Western democracies and the Soviet Union’s communism kept the Potsdam from reaching to its conclusion.
- There was no sign of Stalin allowing free elections in Eastern Europe and a communist government was being set up in Poland.
Potsdam Conference Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Potsdam Conference across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Potsdam Conference worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Potsdam Conference which was the last of the World War II meetings held by the “Big Three” heads of state.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Potsdam Conference Facts
- Road Towards Potsdam
- The Big Three
- Big Three Powers
- Potsdam Codename
- Big Three Faces – Harry Truman
- Big Three Faces – Winston Churchill
- Big Three Faces – Joseph Stalin
- Breaking News!
- Consequence of Atrocities
- Words of the Wise
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Link will appear as Potsdam Conference Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 10, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.