Germany 1945 - 49 revision notes

Notes on major developments for the final two key issues (OCR).

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Germany 194549
· Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30th 1945.
· Germany was defeated on May 8th 1945
· They agreed to unconditional surrender the Allies (Britain, America, and Russia) would not
accept any other terms.
Yalta Conference, February 1945
It was clear that the power of Britain was declining due to the war and other political
problems, in her empire. This meant that the other two superpowers could have much more say
in events concerning Germany.
Victory over Germany was just a matter of time, but Russia had advanced quickly into
Germany, whereas the Western Allies had struggled to make their progress through Germany
and they didn't reach the Rhine till February.
The Soviet `liberation' of states in Eastern Europe was not appreciated by many and it was to
become the focus of discussions.
What they agreed
· The USSR would join the United Nations (the new League of Nations, which is still going
today) and join the war against Japan.
· Germany was divided up into 4 zones of occupation, one for each power France, USA,
Great Britain and Russia.
· The capital, Berlin, would also be divided into 4 zones.
· Decisions concerning the whole of Germany would be taken by the four high commanders
in the Allied Control Council unanimously.
· The Allies would set up a commission to look into reparations.
Potsdam Conference, July 1945
Troubles were occurring before the powers even met
· Roosevelt had died and been replaced by Harry Truman, who was much more anti
communist than Roosevelt and was much less trustful of Stalin.
· Churchill was growing even more antagonistic towards Stalin. He saw Stalin as being
deceptive concerning his promises about holding democratic elections in Eastern Europe.
· However, Britain's position as a world power was beginning to diminish and its status was
demeaned further by the defeat of Churchill in the general election during the conference, he
was replaced by ClementAttlee. (The fact that Churchill didn't know he was going to lose,
shocked Stalin, who always knew the outcome of his elections before they took place, due
to spies!).
· Truman found out during this conference that the Atomic Bomb was ready. A fact that he
did not share with Stalin, even though Stalin already knew because he had spies in the
American Government.
· Stalin wanted reparations to help rebuild his country which had been ruined by the costs and
effects of the war. For economical reasons, he was against a division of Germany in 1945.
But he also wanted access to industrial areas along the Rhine and the Ruhr.

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What they agreed
· The four D's denazification, decentralisation, demilitarisation, democratisation.
· The GermanPolish border. Stalin demanded that the border be further west of the rivers
Oder and Neisse. Churchill refused to accept this. However, the Polish administration of
these lands and the peaceful resettlement of millions of Germans were accepted by the
Western Allies. Poland's shift to the West could no longer be negotiated without risking
confrontation with Stalin.
· The USSR demanded $20billion for reparations.…read more

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United States to help all free nations threatened by what he saw as
communist aggression and to contain the spread of ideology.
The offer on 5th June 1947 from secretary of state, George Marshall to seek
Congress's agreement to provide enough money to stabilise and strengthen a European
free market, which became known as the European Recovery Programme (ERP).
The Marshall plan wanted to achieve comprehensive economic recovery for all of Europe.…read more

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The Berlin airlift arranged for 279,000 flights one at every minute during its peak.
· It provided 2.3million tons of food and supplies providing 7000 tons of goods daily to West
· It supplied 1.5million tons of coal.
After 11 months, the Berlin Blockade ended on 11th May 1949, when the Soviets had realised
that it was pointless to carry on with it.…read more


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