Today in history: July 17

West Wing Reports
The Week

In 1945, the Potsdam Conference kicked off in post-war Germany

July 17, 1945: President Harry Truman represented the United States at the Potsdam Conference, which decided how to run post-war Germany. His counterparts at Potsdam were Soviet leader Josef Stalin and Britain's Winston Churchill, until Churchill's Conservative Party lost the 1945 general election and replaced him with new Prime Minister Clement Attlee.

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The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from July 17 to August 2, 1945. The U.S., Britain, and Soviet Union decided how to administer punishment to the defeated Nazi Germany, which had agreed to unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier, on May 8 (V-E Day). The goals of the conference also included the establishment of post-war order, peace treaties issues, and countering the effects of the war.

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