Potsdam and the Establishment of the Soviet Union - Germany

  • Created by: RConwa_y
  • Created on: 19-05-18 16:38
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  • Potsdam and the Establishment of the Soviet Union
    • The Potsdam Conference
      • What was agreed?
        • Germany was to be administered under joint Allied control and was divided into four zones of occupation, as was Berlin
        • Germany was to be de-militarised, de-Nazified and  democratised
        • Local elections were to be held to give Germany an opportunity to rebuild itself as a democracy
        • Poland gained much former German land; the Oder-Neisse line formed the border between Poland and the Soviet Union
        • Germans in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia were repatriated to Germany
        • The economy was to be run as one unit, each occupying force was to take reparations from their zone
      • The Allies agreed to divide Germany into four zones at the Yalta Conference in February 1945
      • They met again at Potsdam in July 1945. This conference was attended by Stalin, Truman, Churchill and Attlee
      • There was disagreements between Russia and the other Allies over boundaries and reparations
    • The Soviet Zone
      • Demilitarisation
        • German forces disbanded after their surrender in May 1945
        • There was no German government, so there was no independent military force until 1955
      • De-Nazification
        • The Soviet Union interned many former Nazi's. Many of them died in concentration camps
        • The Nazi Party was disbanded and major war criminals were tried at Nuremberg
        • Some former Nazis joined communism. The Soviet Union argued Nazism came from Capitalism
          • A similar process was adopted later for banks and factories
          • Former Nazi's property was taken. Some was kept by the state
          • Some equipment was dismantled and returned to Russia. Russia removed experts and took them to Russia
          • Large landed estates were confiscated and redistributed among landless agricultural labourers
      • Democratisation
        • German communists (led by Walter Ulbricht) arrived in Berlin in April 1945.  They wanted to take power
        • The Soviet Military Adminstration issued Order Number 2 on June 10 1945 - allowed political parties. All parties united in an anti-fascist bloc in May 1945
        • The Communist Party was established, followed by the Social Democratic Party. They were merged in 1946 into the Socialist Unity Party. The SDP did not trust the communists
        • Liberal parties formed into the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany. The Catholic and Protestant parties became the Christian Democratic Union
        • It appeared as if the Communist Party would adopt a democratic approach but by 1948 it abandoned democracy


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