World War II ended on May 8, 1945 in Europe, leaving the three major allied powers (United States, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union) in place, in and around the former Nazi capital of Berlin. Representatives of the 3 met at Potsdam, capital of the German federal state of Brandenburg between July-August, hammering out a series of agreements known as the Potsdam agreement.
Built on earlier accords reached through conferences at Tehran, Casablanca and Yalta, the agreement addressed issues of German demilitarization, reparations, de-nazification and the prosecution of war criminals.
The Potsdam agreement called for the division of defeated Germany into four zones of occupation, roughly coinciding with then-current locations of the allied armies. The former capital city of Berlin was itself partitioned into four zones of occupation. A virtual island located 100 miles inside of Soviet-controlled eastern Germany.
During the war, ideological fault lines were suppressed in the drive…
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