Online Library of Selected Images:
EVENTS - World War II Diplomacy

The Potsdam Conference, July - August 1945

On 16 July 1945, the "Big Three" leaders met at Potsdam, Germany, near Berlin. In this, the last of the World War II heads of state conferences, President Truman, Soviet Premier Stalin and British Prime Ministers Churchill and Atlee discussed post-war arrangements in Europe, frequently without agreement. Future moves in the war against Japan were also covered. The meeting concluded early in the morning of 2 August.

One result of the conference was a 26 July joint proclamation by the U.S., Great Britain and China, the three main powers then fighting Japan. This "Potsdam Declaration" described Japan's present perilous condition, gave the terms for her surrender and stated the Allies' intentions concerning her postwar status. It ended with an ultimatum: Japan must immediately agree to unconditionally surrender, or face "prompt and utter destruction".

This page presents views taken during the Potsdam Conference.

For pictorial coverage of President Truman's voyage to attend the conference, see: USS Augusta Transports President Truman to and from the Potsdam Conference.

Click photograph for larger image.

Photo #: USA C-1861 (Color)

Potsdam Conference, July-August 1945


Group photograph of the "Big Three" heads of government at Potsdam, Germany, circa 28 July -- 1 August 1945.
Those present are (from left to right):
British Prime Minister Clement Atlee;
U.S. President Harry S. Truman;
Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.

Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 85KB; 740 x 605 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: USA C-1860 (Color)

Potsdam Conference, July-August 1945


The "Big Three" pose with their principal advisors, at Potsdam, Germany, circa 28 July -- 1 August 1945.
The three heads of government are (seated, left to right):
British Prime Minister Clement Atlee;
U.S. President Harry S. Truman;
Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.
Standing behind them are (left ot right):
Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, Truman's Chief of Staff;
British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin;
U.S. Secretary of State James F. Byrnes;
Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov.

Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 87KB; 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-14539 (Color)

Potsdam Conference, July-August 1945


Main entrance of the Cecilienhof Palace, where the Potsdam "Big Three" meetings were held. Flags of the USSR, United States and Great Britain are flying over the entranceway. Soviet officers are serving as guards.
Photographed during the conference.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives collection

Online Image: 148KB; 590 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-14537 (Color)

Potsdam Conference, July-August 1945


View into the courtyard of Cecilienhof Palace, where the Potsdam "Big Three" meetings were held. Photographed during the conference from inside the palace entranceway. The large red floral star in the courtyard had been planted by the Soviets.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives collection

Online Image: 119KB; 595 x 765 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-14538 (Color)

Potsdam Conference, July-August 1945


Courtyard of Cecilienhof Palace, where the Potsdam meetings were held. The large red floral star had been planted by the Soviets.
Photographed during the conference.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives collection

Online Image: 139KB; 590 x 765 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-14541 (Color)

Potsdam Conference, July-August 1945


British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's automobile parked in front of the "Little White House", where President Harry S. Truman lived during the conference. This house was located at Number 2, Kaiserstrasse, in Babelsberg, between Berlin and Potsdam.
Photographed circa 16 July, when Churchill and Truman first met during the conference, and 25 July, when Churchill left Potsdam.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives collection

Online Image: 129KB; 740 x 605 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 




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